Environment, Climate and Communications | Provision of broadband to blackspot areas
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the ongoing steps to support remote working through the roll-out of high-speed fibre broadband connections in internet, with particular reference to blackspot-prone rural areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Bernard J. Durkan.
* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 15th December, 2022.
(677 Received on 12th December, 2022.)
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 almost 100,000 businesses and farms along with some 679 schools.
High-speed broadband connections are available across 25 counties, with over 101,700 premises passed across 25 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 exceeding projections.
A recent report produced for my Department, investigated the potential benefits of the NBP for the Irish economy. Broadband is increasingly essential to our daily lives and it is a vital part of economic and social development. In particular it shows that the NBP is unlocking significant environmental benefits, principally through the increased prevalence of remote working.
Strategic Connection Points (SCPs) 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 02 December 2022, 823 SCP sites (280 Broadband Connection Points, which are publicly accessible sites, and 543 schools) have been installed 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 BCPs and the Department of Education for school SCP’s. My Department continues to work with the Department of Education to prioritise schools with no high-speed broadband, within the Intervention Area. Further details are available on the NBI website at https://nbi.ie/primary-schools-list/.
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