I propose to take Questions Nos. 969 and 972 together.
The Deputy's Questions refer to premises which are located in the AMBER area on the NBP High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER area represents the area to be served by the network to be deployed under the NBP State led Intervention, the contract for which was signed in November last with National Broadband Ireland (NBI).
All counties will see premises passed under the NBP State led intervention in the next 2 years and over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within the next four years. The NBP network will offer users a high speed broadband service with a minimum download speed of 150Mbps from the outset. By the end of next year, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises, with 70,000 - 100,000 passed each year thereafter until rollout is completed.
Further information on deployment activities is available on NBI’s website(www.nbi.ie )and potential customers for High Speed Broadband within the AMBER area can now record an expression of interest through the NBI website to receive updates on progress with the roll out.
To support remote working and connected communities, approximately 300 Broadband Connections Points (BCPs) are scheduled to be connected to high speed broadband this year. This will assist communities to quickly get free public access to high speed broadband in advance of the main NBP deployment. The planned BCP locations, including schools, library hubs and local sports are available to view on the High Speed Broadband Map on the Department’s website www.broadband.gov.ie. It should be noted that some BCP locations may be subject to change.
These BCPs will leverage the high speed broadband connection through a range of measures and initiatives, for example providing free public Wi-Fi, 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. The BCP delivery project is well underway and surveying of the BCP locations is progressing, which will facilitate detailed design and installation.