Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (73, 80)

Alan Dillon

Ceist:

73. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the mobile and broadband communications projects being undertaken with Mayo County Council and the national broadband plan (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29515/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Dillon

Ceist:

80. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications the steps he is taking to address issues in relation to broadband (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29516/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

I propose to take Question Nos 73 and 80 together.

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led Intervention will be delivered by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) under a contract signed last November to roll out a high speed and future proofed broadband network within the Intervention Area which covers 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along with 695 schools.The NBP network will offer users a high speed broadband service with a minimum download speed of 500Mbps from the outset. This represents an increase from the 150Mbps committed to under the Contract. The deployment plan forecasts premises passed in all counties within the first 2 years and over 90% of premises in the State having access to high speed broadband within the next four years.As of 28 September, design work is complete or on-going in target townlands across 23 counties and steady progress is being made with over 98,000 premises surveyed to date. This activity is increasing week on week and NBI expects to have completed some 120,000 surveys by the end of the year. This activity involves physically walking the routes and documenting images, notes and measurements of the poles, cables and underground ducts in each area. This is informing design solutions for provision of the fibre network.The Question refers to a construction company in Turlough, Castlebar, Co Mayo that is experiencing communications difficulties. Without a specific eircode it is difficult to provide a definitive reply. However, I can advise that in terms of the village of Turlough, the western portion of the village is within the NBP State intervention area. This area has been surveyed and detailed designs for the network are currently being developed. In terms of The National Museum of Ireland in Turlough, this is located within an area where commercial operators are delivering high speed broadband or have indicated future plans to do so . My Department defines high speed broadband as a connection with minimum speeds of 30Mbps download and 6Mbps upload. There may be a choice of operators offering this service in the area referred to and further information in this regard is available at www.comreg.ie/compare/#/services

Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are a key element of the NBP providing high speed broadband in every county in advance of the roll out of the fibre to the home network. Some 155 BCP sites have been installed by NBI and the high speed broadband service will be switched on in these locations through service provider contracts managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development for publicly available sites and by the Department of Education and Skills for schools. Locations in Mayo in areas such as Taugheen, Bofeenaun, Islandeady and Killaser Community Centres were chosen by the Department of Rural and Community Development in conjunction with Mayo County Council and are all installed and due for connection shortly.Since 2016, my Department has collaborated with Mayo County Council through the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce, which has been a driving force for improving access to telecommunications services nationwide. It has completed over 70 targeted actions to alleviate connectivity barriers, and continues to tackle issues impeding the rollout of essential infrastructure in rural areas, including in County Mayo. The Taskforce will continue its work in the context of its inclusion in the Programme for Government, in ensuring access to high quality telecommunications connectivity across Ireland to support social and economic development.