Thursday, 28 November 2019

Ceisteanna (50)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

50. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he is satisfied that the national broadband plan is fit for purpose. [49433/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The availability of high speed broadband services can have a transformative effect on communities. High speed broadband will allow citizens and businesses in rural communities to enjoy broadband speeds comparable to communities in urban areas. This will enable rural communities to avail of the opportunities presented by the digital economy including in healthcare, education, farming, rural development and tourism.

Since July 2013, the Department has engaged in an extensive process of mapping broadband availability in Ireland in order to identify premises requiring State intervention. The mapping exercise has been supported by a number of public consultations which have elicited significant response from industry and the public.

The NBP contract, which was signed on 19 November, provides that the future proofed high speed broadband network to be deployed by National Broadband Ireland will also pass and connect new premises built in the intervention area over the next 25 years. The network will keep pace with developments outside the intervention area and minimum services offered will be reviewed every three to five years to ensure the network is keeping pace with demand.

The tender submitted by National Broadband Ireland committed to a network that will initially provide services of 150Mbps to the majority of homes and up to 1Gbps to heavy data users and Small and Medium size Enterprises. Services on the network will be upgraded for consumers to 300Mbps by year 6 and 500Mbps by year 10 while businesses and heavy users will also get an upgrade to 2Gbps by year 11 and incrementally beyond that.