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National Broadband Plan

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 1 December 2021

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Questions (53)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

53. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the number of homes and business premises that have benefited from high speed fibre connection across County Meath since NBI started its contract; and the length of time it will take the remaining homes and businesses to be connected in the time ahead. [59302/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led Intervention will be delivered by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) under a contract to roll out a high speed and future proofed broadband network within the Intervention Area which covers 1.1 million people living and working in the over 554,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along some 699 schools. The NBP roll out is currently a 7 year plan under the contract and deployment is due to be complete by the end of 2026. I appreciate people's frustration when they are living so close to a fibre network but cannot get a connection to that network, particularly given the heightened importance of connectivity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The NBP will ensure that in all such cases a future proofed high speed broadband network will be built to serve these premises and work to deliver on this is underway. 

Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, National Broadband Ireland has made steady progress on delivery of the new high speed fibre broadband network under the National Broadband Plan with over 277,000 premises surveyed or with survey underway across all counties and over 125,000 premises with build currently underway. NBI has also advised that the first premises are connected in Cavan, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Monaghan and over 30,000 premises are available to order and pre-order across 12 counties as of 24 November. 

There are some 89,908 premises in County Meath of which 69,543 are in the commercial area and 20,365  are within the NBP Intervention Area. I am advised by NBI that, as of 24 November 2021, 9,672 premises in County Meath have been surveyed. Surveying is underway in the Deployment Area of Hill of Down and surveying is complete in Deployment Areas of Navan and Dunboyne/Clonee. Network build is well progressed in the areas of Julianstown, Duleek, Stamullin and Ardcath, with NBI advising anticipated dates for connection in H1 2022.

Further details are available on specific areas within County Meath through the NBI website which provides a facility for any premises within the intervention area to register their interest in being provided with deployment updates through its website www.nbi.ie. Individuals who register with this facility will receive regular updates on progress by NBI on delivering the network and specific updates related to their own premises as works commence. NBI has a dedicated email address, reps@nbi.ie, which can be used by Oireachtas members for specific queries.

Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are a key element of the NBP providing high speed broadband in every county in advance of the roll out of the fibre to the home network. As of 19 November, 393 BCP sites have been installed by NBI and the high speed broadband service will be switched on in these locations through service provider contracts managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development for publicly accessible sites and the Department of Education for school BCPs. BCP’s are installed in County Meath at Drumree GAA Club, Moynalty GAA Club, Ballinlough Shop & Former Halfway House Public House, Boardsmill GAA Club/Community Centre, Syddan Gaelic Football Club, Meath Hill Community Centre, Rathkenny Hall, Castletown GAA Club, Cormeen Sports Complex, Kilskyre GAA Club, Meath GAA Centre of Excellence, Cortown GAA Club, Bective GAA Clubrooms and Teach Raithneach Heritage & Cultural Centre.

Newtown National School, Kentstown National School and Gaelscoil An Bhradáin Fheasa have been installed by NBI for educational access. My Department continues to work with the Department of Education to prioritise schools with no high speed broadband, within the Intervention Area, for connection over the term of the NBP. In this regard, an acceleration of this aspect of the National Broadband Plan was announced late last year which will see some 679 primary schools connected to high speed broadband by 2022, well ahead of the original target delivery timeframe of 2026.

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