Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Ceisteanna (766)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

766. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to Parliamentary Question No. 517 of 21 May 2019, when broadband will be delivered to all houses in Magillstown, Balheary, Swords, County Dublin. [23635/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to ensure that every home, school and business in Ireland has access to high speed broadband. This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment across the country, and a State intervention in those areas where commercial operators acting alone are unlikely to invest. The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector. In 2012, less than 700,000, or 30% of Irish premises had access to high speed broadband. Today, 74% of the 2.4 million premises in Ireland can access high speed broadband.

In April 2017, my Department published an updated version of the 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 NBP. 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.

The following table details the percentage of premises to be covered by the State Intervention and through commercial investment in the areas identified by the Deputy. eir's deployment of high speed broadband under the Commitment Agreement signed with my Department in April 2017 within the townlands of Magillstown and Balheary is now complete.

Townland

Premises within the NBP Intervention Area

Premises within Commercial Operator’s Area

Premises within eir planned rural deployment

Total

Magillstown

59% (13)

41% (9)

0% (0)

100% (22)

Balheary

45% (17)

55% (21)

0% (0)

100% (38)

Premises where commercial providers are not currently delivering or have indicated no plans to deliver high speed broadband services will be addressed through the National Broadband Plan State led Intervention

This intervention is the subject of the procurement process to engage a company to build, operate and maintain the NBP State intervention network. I recently brought a recommendation to Government to confer Preferred Bidder status on Granahan McCourt, the remaining bidder in the NBP procurement process and Government agreed to this at its meeting on 7 May.

The Government decision of 7 May 2019 means that it is intended to award the State Intervention contract to National Broadband Ireland, subject to contract close including the finalisation of financial and legal documents. Deployment of the NBP State Intervention network will commence shortly after that. The Bidder has indicated that the NBP State intervention will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment. A deployment plan will be made available by the Bidder once the contract is signed.

In the first year of roll out, the Bidder will deploy approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) across all counties. It is anticipated that between 7 and 23 BCPs will be deployed in each county. BCPs will provide a community based high speed broadband service, enhancing online participation and allowing for the establishment of digital work hubs in these locations.

The Bidder is aiming to pass 133,000 premises at the end of the second year, with 70-100,000 passed each year thereafter until roll out is completed.