Thursday, 28 November 2019

Ceisteanna (36)

Joe Carey


36. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the roll-out of the 300 broadband connection points will commence; the role these wi-fi hot spots will play in providing high speed broadband to communities in intervention areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49339/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

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 State intervention area will take a number of years.

Broadband Connection Points are key National Broadband Plan (NBP) locations in communities across Ireland. Broadband Connection Points are locations of community importance such as community centres, parish halls and schools.

Approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points will receive an early connection in the roll out of the NBP.

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, some will also 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 3 business parks.

Work will commence on the deployment of the Broadband Connection Points now that the NBP contract has been signed. It is expected that 298 Broadband Connection Points will be established and providing a high speed broadband service by the end of 2020.