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Broadband Services Provision

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 23 January 2013

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Ceisteanna (171)

Seán Kyne

Ceist:

171. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if the focus of the Delivering a Connected Society: National Broadband Plan for Ireland will be placed on those rural areas, such as Connemara, which were either ineligible for inclusion in the earlier National Broadband Scheme or were included but whose citizens are experiencing inadequate, unreliable internet access at present. [3466/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Government’s National Broadband Plan, which I published in August last, aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed services of at least 30 Mbps are available to all of our citizens and businesses, well in advance of the EU’s target date of 2020, and that significantly higher speeds are available to as many homes and businesses as possible.

During the preparation of the National Broadband Plan, the commercial market operators indicated that they expect to provide 70 Mbps to 100 Mbps services to 50% of the population by 2015. The areas to be provided with those services will be determined by the commercial market operators.

One of the first steps in delivering on the commitments in the National Broadband Plan will be the completion of a formal national mapping exercise to determine the exact position in relation to commercial service providers’ existing and planned broadband services throughout the country. It will also identify where the market is expected to succeed and fail in the delivery of high speed broadband over the coming years.

Until that process is complete, the precise areas of the country which will require State intervention will not be known. I would reiterate however, that the Government remains committed to the delivery of the speeds referred to in the Plan and to ensuring that all parts of Ireland, including Connemara, will have at least 30 Mbps connectivity.

As regards the quality of service under the National Broadband Scheme (NBS), any NBS customer experiencing problems with the NBS service is advised to contact 3’s customer care centre 24 hours a day 7 days a week by phone at 1913 (free of charge) or via email to nbssupport@three.ie . A team of field engineers has been established to address NBS specific maintenance issues at customers’ premises.

My Department has a role where customers have fully utilised the established complaints process and consider that their complaint has not been resolved. My officials operate a dedicated NBS mailbox, which NBS customers can contact by email at nationalbroadbandscheme@dcenr.gov.ie, with any comments or complaints they may have about their NBS service. Where a customer has unresolved problems with their NBS service, they can contact my Department who will then liaise with personnel employed by 3 at its Head Office in Dublin to remedy their service performance issues.

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