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National Broadband Plan

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (20)

Rose Conway-Walsh


20. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the original target for the connection of premises in County Mayo under the National Broadband Plan by the end of 2021; the current target for the end of 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53696/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

There are over 84,000 premises in County Mayo of which over 36,000 are within the National Broadband Plan Intervention Area and will receive access to high speed broadband under the State led intervention to be delivered by National Broadband Ireland. Government investment in County Mayo under the NBP will be in the order of €145 million.

I am advised by National Broadband Ireland that as of 27 October, over 9,000 premises in County Mayo have been surveyed. Surveys are complete in areas around Castlebar, Ballina, Newport and Carrowmorelacken. Surveys are ongoing in the areas around Killadoon.

In addition to the challenges to the delivery of the NBP due to the Covid-19 pandemic, NBI has faced a range of other challenges due to the sheer scale and complexity of rolling out fibre to the home in a rural environment. These include significant tree trimming to ensure cable can be placed on overhead poles, remediation of ducting that has been in place for many decades, the co-ordination of hundreds of contracting crews and addressing the many issues arising week on week which could not have been foreseen until the build crews commenced work on the ground.

The original target for premises passed in areas around Castlebar and Ballina was 4,563 premises by the end of 2021. My Department has worked closely with NBI to put in place a remedial plan under the Contract which addresses delays experienced by NBI, primarily arising as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This plan rebaselines milestones for 2021 and work is currently underway to rebaseline milestones for 2022. As a result, NBI anticipates that premises around Castlebar will be passed and available for connection in H1, 2022 and around Ballina in H2, 2022.