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National Broadband Plan

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (122)

Darren O'Rourke

Ceist:

122. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if his attention has been drawn to the fact that businesses in rural Ireland that have access to slow basic broadband services are not being included in the National Broadband Plan despite their need for access to high speed broadband; the way he plans to address the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29407/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

The National Broadband Plan will ensure that businesses and individual citizens throughout the entire country will have access to high speed broadband services through a combination of commercial investment and the State led intervention under the NBP. The High Speed Broadband Map, which is available at www.broadband.gov.ie, shows the areas which will be included in the National Broadband Plan State led intervention as well as areas targeted by commercial operators. The map is colour coded and searchable by address and Eircode. The AMBER areas on the High Speed Broadband Map will be served by the new high speed network being delivered by NBI. In order to comply with the State Aid decision which enabled the contract to be awarded, NBI can only serve those premises which have been identified as AMBER on the High Speed Broadband Map, as no commercial operator has demonstrated that they will provide a high speed broadband service to these premises. My Department defines high speed broadband as a connection with minimum speeds of 30Mbps download and 6Mbps upload.

The activities of commercial operators delivering high speed broadband within BLUE areas are not planned or funded by the State and my Department has no statutory authority to intervene in that regard as they operate in a fully liberalised market regulated by ComReg as independent regulator.

Complaints about service provision are a matter between the consumer and the service provider in the first instance. If this avenue has been exhausted without a satisfactory resolution, the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) may be able to assist further. ComReg is the independent body that issues licences to broadband service providers and investigates complaints to make sure that companies are delivering services in line with their licence obligations.

In the event that, having exhausted the above options, a premises located in the BLUE area still cannot get high speed broadband from service providers in the area, they should contact my Department at broadband@decc.gov.ie with full details and the matter will be investigated by my officials.

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