Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Ceisteanna (49)

Holly Cairns

Ceist:

49. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the number of premises in Carrigaline, County Cork that can access a fibre broadband connection; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8369/21]

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 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 over 544,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along with 695 schools. The deployment plan forecasts construction commenced 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.

There are some 273,548 premises in Co Cork of which approximately 71% have access to high speed broadband through commercial operators. The remaining 79,424 premises are located in the Intervention Area in County Cork.

I am advised by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) that, as of 11 February 2021, over 174,000 premises across all counties have been surveyed. Surveys have been completed in Co. Cork in  Midleton, Cullen, Templebreedy, Carrigaline, Ballyfoyle, Douglas, Ballyphehane, Glasheen, Mahon and Kilpatrick, with surveys underway in Ballydesmond, Kiskeam, Umeraboy, Knocknagree, Rineen, Cullen, Coolinarna, Millstreet, Hollymount and Caherbarnagh. Pre-build works are underway in Fountainstown, Ballinhassig, Monkstown, and Upper Rochestown. The first fibre to the home connections are successfully connected  in Carrigaline and construction work is continuing with significant technical testing and validation taking place prior to wider release of the area. There are over 4,500 premises in the Carrigaline deployment area and some 300 premises are currently eligible for connection with NBI advising that a further 373 premises will be eligible for connection by 1 March 2021.

Further details are available on specific areas within County Cork 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 www.nbi.ie. 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 11 February, 268 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 accessible sites and by the Department of Education for school BCPs. BCPs connected in Cork are Ballindangan Community Centre, Aghabullogue Community Centre, Castletownkenneigh Community Centre, Lissavard Community Centre, Whitechurch Community Centre and T.O. Park Labbamollaga. Further details can be found at https://nbi.ie/bcp-locations/.

Clogagh and Ballycroneen National School will be provided with high speed broadband for educational use 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 the schools aspect of the project was announced late last year and 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/.