Environment, Climate and Communications | Broadband network extension progress
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which ongoing progress can be reported in regard to the provision of high-speed modern broadband in all areas throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
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 560,000 premises, including over 100,000 businesses and farms along with some 679 schools.
I am advised by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) that, as of 9 September 2022, over 88,000 premises can order or pre-order a high-speed broadband connection across 25 counties, with over 75,500 premises passed across 23 counties and available for immediate connection. Construction is underway across 26 counties demonstrating that the project is reaching scale. To date, the level of connections is increasing on a daily basis and is in line with or exceeding projections.
NBI has made recent improvements to their website to enhance the provision of information to Oireachtas members. NBI has now completed a suite of changes, creating a portal that will serve as a means for Oireachtas members to proactively search for information relevant to their county/local area. The portal provides an up-to-date picture of NBI’s deployment schedule across the 227 Deployment Areas (DAs) in all 26 counties. A particular county can be selected to view an update of the overall number of premises in the Intervention Area, the overall NBP investment in the county, the number of premises passed and connected to date and the status of each of the Deployment Areas with the anticipated date for connection over the lifetime of the project. The dedicated webpage can be accessed here: www.nbi.ie.
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 9 September 2022, 716 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 the Department of Education for school BCPs.
Over 430 schools have been installed by NBI to date for educational access. My Department continues to work with the Department of Education to prioritise schools with no high-speed broadband, within the Intervention Area. Further details of schools in scope are available on the NBI website at https://nbi.ie/primary-schools-list/.
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