I thank Deputy Calleary for the question. The broadband connection point, BCP, initiative will see high-speed broadband services bought to more than 300 sites in remote and rural areas across the country as a first phase of the national broadband plan.
BCPs are typically community centres, schools and sports clubs that will act as access hubs for local people, providing on-site access to the Internet. The sites have been deliberately selected in remote and sparsely populated areas that would not otherwise be among the earliest to receive high-speed broadband under the national development plan.
Many of these sites are on islands or in areas with widely dispersed and remote homes and businesses.
Further details on each of the BCPs are available on National Broadband Ireland's website, www.nbi.ie. As the initiative develops, additional information, such as opening hours and services offered, will be made available through the NBI website.
My officials have worked closely with local authority broadband officers in the first instance to identify the selected sites and, more recently, to help develop the facilities at each of the locations to ensure that full advantage is taken of the high-speed broadband once it arrives. I recently issued an information booklet, via the broadband officers, for BCP site owners. This document provides greater detail on the technologies to be used and how the connections will be made, alongside other relevant information.
I will host a workshop of local authority chief executives later this month at which I intend to highlight the role that BCPs will play in improving rural access to digital services.
My Department will also procure a provider, or providers, for the installation of access infrastructure at the connection points. It is intended that the winning tenderer will work closely with NBI over the course of next year to ensure that the approximately 300 BCPs are delivered within the first year of the roll-out of the national broadband plan.