The Government's national broadband plan, NBP, aims to ensure high-speed broadband access of a minimum of 30 Mbps, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for all premises, communities and towns in Ireland, regardless of location. For those in areas where commercial operators cannot or will not deliver a service, access will be delivered via a State-led intervention. A variety of measures will be undertaken to ensure equality under the NBP State-led intervention in order that no county or community will be left behind.
As the Deputy will know, my Department is continuing the formal procurement process to engage the company that will roll out a new high-speed broadband network in the State intervention area. The practical issue of the roll-out across the country as a whole will be an important factor in the final contract negotiations between my Department’s specialist procurement team and the company. The company will be required to deploy the build and roll-out of the NBP State intervention network in the most timely and efficient manner, while addressing the real need for communities across all counties to quickly access high-speed broadband in the short term.
My Department is working with the broadband officers now in place in every local authority. The Department of Rural and Community Development’s regional action groups have identified strategic community points across all counties where services can be connected at an early juncture after the award of the NBP contract in order that access will be made immediately available on roll-out to provide high-speed broadband for businesses and homeowners. As fibre connections to villages and communities continue to improve, so too will public Wi-Fi, which provides people with greater accessibility to better services.