Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (154)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

154. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the lack of broadband service in Castleblakeney and Kilkebrin, east County Galway; and his plans to remedy the situation. [16980/19]

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 rollout high speed broadband to 300,000 premises as part of a Commitment Agreement signed with my Department in April 2017.

There are 42 premises in Castleblakeney. 95% (40) of these premises are in a BLUE area and are, or will be, served by commercial providers, while 5% (2) are LIGHT BLUE and fall to be served by eir's planned rural deployment.

There are 21 premises in Kilkerrin. 52% (11) fall within the AMBER area and will be served under the State led Intervention. 43% (9) of premises are in a BLUE area and are, or will be, served by commercial providers, while 5% (1) are LIGHT BLUE and fall to be served by eir's planned rural deployment.

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 the coming weeks.

Under a Commitment Agreement signed with my Department in April 2017, eir is in the process of passing 300,000 predominantly rural homes with high speed broadband. According to data for Q4 2018 submitted by eir to my Department the company has passed almost 225,000 premises nationwide as part of its ongoing deployment.

Information on eir's rural deployment is available on that company’s website, http://fibrerollout.ie/Eircode-lookup/. A copy of the Commitment Agreement is available on my Department’s website, www.dccae.gov.ie.

In the event any premises categorised as BLUE in Castleblakeney or Kilkerrin are experiencing difficulty in obtaining a high speed broadband service, I advise they contact the NBP customer service team at broadband@dccae.gov.ie directly, providing their name, phone number, email address and Eircode, as well as details of any issues they are experiencing getting connected.

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 Local Authority 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.