Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Ceisteanna (86)

Paul McAuliffe

Ceist:

86. Deputy Paul McAuliffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if a review of broadband and internet coverage in Dublin identifying blackspots has been carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40656/21]

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 over 544,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along with 695 schools. In July 2019, in order to finalise the mapping exercise required under the State Aid Guidelines on Broadband and to ensure the NBP High Speed Broadband Map was up to date, my Department conducted a consultation in relation to the High Speed Broadband Map. This consultation sought submissions from operators who wished to have their existing high speed broadband networks or plans to invest in high speed broadband networks over the following 7 years to be included on the Department’s High Speed Broadband Map. The Map shows the areas targeted by commercial operators to provide high speed broadband services and the areas included in the State Intervention Area under the National Broadband Plan. The High Speed Broadband Map is available at www.broadband.gov.ie and is colour coded and searchable by address and Eircode.

This consultation was part of a significant engagement with industry initiated in July 2013 where my Department engaged in an extensive process of mapping and monitoring broadband availability in Ireland. This has been supported by a number of public consultations conducted from 2013 to 2019. As part of the 2019 consultation, over 180 submissions were received from a variety of stakeholders including 30 from large and small telecoms operators with the remainder from local authority broadband officers and members of the public. All operator submissions were fully assessed against my Department’s published assessment criteria and operators were informed of the outcome of this assessment in November 2019. The mapping exercise was conducted across all counties, including Dublin, to ensure the map is up to date.

My Department continues to engage with consumers and industry in relation to broadband availability. The NBP High Speed Broadband Map is dynamic. This means that the intervention area can be updated to reflect new commercial plans, or previous plans that have failed to materialise. This flexibility allows for an increase or decrease in the number of premises included in the State Intervention area, if appropriate to do so.