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National Broadband Plan

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (93)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

93. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the number of premises connected to date under the roll-out of the National Broadband scheme; the number of premises surveyed to date; when details of the projected roll-out area by area will be available for all premises covered by the scheme; the projected cost of the National Broadband scheme for the next 20 years; the projected completion date of roll-out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29203/21]

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.

Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, National Broadband Ireland has made steady progress on delivery of the new high speed fibre broadband network under the National Broadband Plan. I am advised by NBI that, as of 27 May 2021, over 220,000 premises across 26 counties have been surveyed. The first fibre to the home connections are successfully connected in a test and trial phase in Carrigaline, Co Cork and Cavan with almost 4,000 premises passed and available for connection.

Build works are continuing across the country in 12 Deployment Areas covering townlands in Carrigaline, Ballinasloe, Cavan, Clare, Dundalk, Galway, Limerick Monaghan, Roscommon, Tipperary, Tralee, Wexford and Carlow and  "make ready" work is underway in a further 15 Deployment Areas. In line with the NBP Contract, the deployment plan is a 7 year build programme which is due to be completed by the end of 2026. The maximum cost of the NBP to the State under the NBP contract will be €2.7 Billion over 25 years. This includes €480m for contingency costs.

I am advised that NBI is working to provide more detail on its website, with a rolling update on network build plans. The NBI website, www.nbi.ie, which is searchable by eircode, provides details at individual premises level. This will be updated to provide the most up to date information and timelines on deployment as the project progresses.

NBI has established a dedicated team to investigate acceleration of the rollout from its current contracted schedule of seven years.  As part of this investigation NBI is engaging with current build partners (eir and enet) to reschedule build activities and is also reviewing potential additional build partners as an option to speed up the build process. Exploring the potential to accelerate the network rollout is being undertaken in parallel with the measures required to mitigate delays arising as a result of Covid-19.

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