Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Ceisteanna (174)

Declan Breathnach

Ceist:

174. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will consider the use of ESB poles in relation to the national broadband plan for those properties not within reach of a telecom pole; if he will consider involving the ESB in allowing its infrastructure to be used in connecting hard to reach households; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22222/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

As is required under State Aid guidelines, the procurement process for the NBP was technology neutral. Fibre was proposed by the bidders in the process as the best solution, which involves deployment of fibre cable along poles and ducts within the intervention area. Also under State Aid guidelines as much as possible of the network build will comprise the re-use of existing infrastructure. To align with this requirement, the company to be set up to deploy and manage the network, National Broadband Ireland, will rent this infrastructure from existing infrastructure owners. Infrastructure re-use in this manner ensures the State complies with State Aid guidelines, environmental sustainability best practice, and minimises costs. Having considered the options available regarding the re-use of infrastructure the bidder proposed to predominantly re-use eir's existing regulated infrastructure.

However, the ESB network may still used by National Broadband Ireland where it is more effective than using the eir pole and duct network, including in the circumstances referred to by the Deputy in his question.