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National Broadband Plan

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 27 January 2021

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Ceisteanna (43, 68, 74)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

43. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he will address a query raised by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3804/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McNamara

Ceist:

68. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the reason County Clare is omitted from the latest details on the National Broadband Plan roll-out (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4327/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McNamara

Ceist:

74. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if fibre broadband service will be provided to an area (details supplied) as part of the current roll-out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4427/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 43, 68 and 74 together. 43, 68 and 74 together.

The premises referred to in the Question is located in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map which is available on my Department's website 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.

I appreciate people's frustration when they are living so close to a fibre network but cannot get a connection to that network, particularly given the heightened importance of connectivity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The NBP will ensure that in all such cases a future proofed high speed broadband network will be built to serve these premises and work to deliver on this is underway. 

I am advised by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) that, as of 15 January 2021, over 161,000 premises across all counties have been surveyed. This includes over 1,600 surveys in Cratloe, Ballycannan, Ballyglas and Cloghrea and that construction has commenced in these areas. I understand that NBI expects connections to be available for these areas in the second half of this year. Details of all of the townlands covered by this build are available through the NBI website www.nbi.ie.

 In addition, I am informed that surveys for over 3,500 premises have recently being completed in the areas around Kilkishen, Sixmilebridge, Kilmurry, Broadford and Clontra with further surveys scheduled in the areas around Feakle and Corofin in the latter half of this year. Further details are available on specific areas within County Clare through the NBI website which provides a facility for any premises within the intervention area to register their interest in being provided with deployment updates through its website. Individuals who register with this facility will receive regular updates on progress by NBI on delivering the network and specific updates related to their own premises as works commence. I am advised that NBI is working to provide more detail on its website, with a rolling update on network build plans. NBI also has a dedicated email address, reps@nbi.ie, which can be used by Oireachtas members for specific queries.

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.  As of 10 January, 243 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. BCP’s installed and connected in Clare are Cree Community Centre, Michael Cusack Visitor Centre and Loop Head Lighthouse. Further details can be found at https://nbi.ie/bcp-locations/

Shragh, Ennistymon and  Stonehall National Schools are connected by NBI for educational access as part of this initiative. My Department continues to work with the Department of Education to prioritise schools with no high speed broadband within the Intervention Area for connection over the term of the NBP. In this regard, an acceleration of this aspect of the National Broadband Plan was announced in December which will see some 679 primary schools connected to high speed broadband by 2022, well ahead of the original target delivery timeframe of 2026. Further details are available on the NBI website at https://nbi.ie/primary-schools-list/

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