Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Ceisteanna (108)

Bernard Durkan


108. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the degree to which high-speed broadband is being made available to various industrial parks throughout the country in order to facilitate the increasing number of persons who may require the option of working from home or at a location close to their homes that can provide the modern facilities required and an element of office environment without long distance commuting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1889/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led Intervention will be delivered by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) under a contract 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 over 544,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along with 695 schools.Noting that the fibre roll-out is a long-term project, Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) were seen as a key early element of the NBP that could provide access to high speed broadband in every county in advance of the roll out of the fibre to the home network.  As of 21 December, 241 publicly accessible 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. Services will vary at each BCP location – some sites will have desks and other equipment which can be used for remote working while others will have outside access only. Information is on a site by site basis and can be found via the map.

Any works that are required in the relevant buildings to cater for remote working will be carried out by the owners of the BCP with assistance, both financial and otherwise, from the Local Authority and local LEADER office.

An interdepartmental working group, chaired by the Department of Rural and Community Development is currently progressing work on hub infrastructure and development of remote working hubs. In that regard BCPs are only a subset of a much larger hub infrastructure. This Working Group will be looking towards enhancing a national hub infrastructure that provides a fair level of geographical access and a level of service that is appropriate given ongoing developments to future working arrangements.