Thursday, 7 March 2019

Ceisteanna (195)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

195. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to improve broadband telecommunications in an area (details supplied) in view of the concerns of householders and local business regarding the poor quality of broadband to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11393/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

In April 2017 my Department published an updated version of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map. This is available at www.broadband.gov.ie. The map shows the areas targeted by commercial operators to provide high speed broadband services and the areas that will be included in the State Intervention Area under the National Broadband Plan. The Map is colour coded and searchable by address/Eircode: - The AMBER area represents the parts of the country where commercial operators have no plans to build high speed broadband networks. Premises in the AMBER area will be provided with high Speed Broadband through a State Intervention.

- The BLUE area represents those areas where commercial providers are either currently delivering or have plans to deliver high speed broadband services.

- The LIGHT BLUE area represents eir's commercial rural deployment plans to roll-out high speed broadband to 300,000 premises as part of a Commitment Agreement signed with my Department in April 2017.

There are 24 premises in the townland of Ballyhugh. 54% (13) fall within the AMBER area and will be served under the State led Intervention, while 46% (11) of premises are in a BLUE area and are, or will be, served by commercial providers. Information on categories of specific premises can be accessed on my Department’s website, www.broadband.gov.ie, by entering the relevant Eircode into the High Speed Broadband Map.

The procurement process to appoint a bidder for the State intervention network is now at the final stage. I will bring a recommendation to Government in relation to the NBP in the coming weeks.

Where people living within the Blue area in Ballyhugh are unable to obtain a high speed broadband service, I would encourage them to email my Department at broadband@dccae.gov.ie with their Eircode and details of the service providers they have contacted and the issues encountered in respect of accessing high speed broadband.

For those premises currently awaiting access to high speed broadband, practical initiatives will continue to be addressed through the work of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce to address obstacles and improve connectivity in respect of existing and future mobile phone and broadband services.

Under this Taskforce, engagement between telecommunications operators and local authorities through the Broadband Officers is continuing. These Broadband Officers are acting as single points of contact in local authorities for their communities. The appointment of these officers is already reaping rewards in terms of ensuring a much greater degree of consistency in engagements.