Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Ceisteanna (133)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

133. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the significant broadband problems in an area (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41300/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Every home, farm, school and business in Ireland will have access to high speed broadband – no matter where they are located – following the Government’s decision to approve the appointment of a preferred bidder to the National Broadband Plan. The High Speed Broadband Map, which is available at www.broadband.gov.ie, 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 and 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.

Ballymore Eustace comprises a number of townlands. The table below outlines the number of premises in each of the townlands where access to a high speed broadband connection is, or will be, delivered by commercial operators (BLUE/LIGHT BLUE) and those where access to this vital service will be delivered under the State led intervention (AMBER).

Townland Name

AMBER

Premises within the NBP State Intervention Area

BLUE

Premises within Commercial Operator’s Area

LIGHT BLUE

Premises within eir's commercial rural deployment

Ballymore Eustace East

18% (48)

81% (214)

1% (1)

Ballymore Eustace West

2% (1)

98% (65)

0% (0)

Tinnycross

0% (0)

93% (14)

7% (1)

Bishopslane

5% (1)

95% (20)

0% (0)

Bishopsland (Naas South By)

11% (6)

89% (48)

0% (0)

Broadleas Commons

36% (53)

64% (96)

0% (0)

Total

19% (109)

80% (457)

1% (2)

Of the 568 premises in Ballymore Eustace, 457 or 80% now have access to high speed broadband. Another 2 will be served by eir under that company’s ongoing rural deployment. The remaining 109 premises in the area will receive access to high speed broadband through the State intervention.

The State intervention is the subject of the procurement process to engage a company to build, operate and maintain the NBP State intervention network. In May I 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.

The Government Decision of 7 May 2019 means that it is intended to award the State Intervention contract to the Bidder. This award is subject to contract close. The finalisation of financial closure and legal requirements are progressing towards contract award. 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.

Work continues on finalising the contract and in parallel to this work, I am considering the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Communications Committee report which was published recently. I will bring my deliberations of the report to Government in due course.

Where a citizen living in a Blue area is 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.