Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ceisteanna (258, 259)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

258. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to extend high-speed fibre broadband to a household (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48153/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

259. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department has received an email from a person (details supplied) in County Donegal outlining the need for high-speed fibre broadband; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48154/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 258 and 259 together.

The National Broadband Plan is the government’s plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises including 100,000 businesses and farms, and over 600 schools, where commercial operators will not commit to deliver the service.

The Deputy's Questions relate to one premises which is located in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER areas represent the areas to be served by the network to be deployed under the NBP State led Intervention, the contract for which was signed on 19 November with National Broadband Ireland (NBI). The NBP will rollout high speed broadband to people living and working in nearly 540,000 premises which include almost 100,000 businesses and farms and 695 schools where commercial operators will not deliver this service.

Approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) will be deployed across all counties during 2020. The BCPs will be located in community centres, schools, library hubs and local GAA halls and will enable communities to get free public access to high speed broadband. The BCP locations are available to view on the High Speed Broadband Map on the Department’s website www.dccae.gov.ie.

NBI will pass approximately 10,000 premises by the end of 2020. By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises, with 70,000 - 100,000 passed each year thereafter until rollout is completed. NBI has indicated that the network rollout will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment. A deployment plan will be made available by NBI shortly. Over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within the next four years.

I can confirm that an email from the person referred to by the Deputy was received in my Department on 6 September 2019 and a reply was issued on 24 September 2019.

With regard to the eir fibre rollout close to the premises referred to by the Deputy, eir’s rural deployment of high speed broadband is a commercial undertaking and not part of the planned State Intervention network. It is not funded by the State and is not planned, designed or directed by the Department in any capacity. The decision as to what areas and premises are served is a matter for eir.