I propose to take Questions Nos. 229 to 231, inclusive, together.
The Government recognises the need to roll out high speed broadband as quickly as possible and is conscious that the full rollout of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) State intervention area will take a number of years.
Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are NBP locations of community importance across Ireland such as community centres, parish halls and schools.
Approximately 300 BCPs will receive an early connection in the roll out of the NBP.
I confirm that each of the locations mentioned in the Deputy’s questions are included as BCPs.
The BCPs have been specifically selected by the local authorities so that they can provide public Wi-Fi and other facilities to support mini digital/enterprise hubs to the local community in advance of the main NBP deployment.
Broadband Officers in each Local Authority were tasked with consulting with local communities and business to find the appropriate mix of locations to reap the maximum benefits.
All BCPs will have a free public Wi-Fi connection, others will have hot-desks, and some will be digital hub business centres where digital training, business information events, and other SME supports are organised.
It is anticipated that there will be between 7 and 23 BCP locations identified in each county and they will include 138 community centres, 14 tourism locations, 51 schools and three business parks.
Work will commence on the deployment of the BCPs immediately. It is expected that 298 Broadband Connection Points will be established and providing a high speed broadband service by the end of 2020.