The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location. This is being achieved via a combination of commercial investment and a State led intervention. Commercial operators have invested over €2.75 billion in upgrading and modernising their networks over the past 5 years, bringing high speed broadband to thousands of homes across Ireland on a commercial basis. In 012, less than 700,000, or 30% of all 2.3 million Irish premises had access to high speed broadband. When this Government came into office, this had risen to 52%. Today, 74% of premises can access high speed broadband.
The level of subsidy required to bring high speed broadband services to the premises in the NBP State intervention area will be determined through the procurement process. A final tender submission from the remaining bidder has been received by my Department. My priority is to bring the procurement process to a fair and impartial conclusion as quickly as possible and I will bring a recommendation to Government in the coming weeks.
As the Deputy will appreciate, I am not in a position to discuss cost at this point.