On 7 May 2019, Government approved the appointment of Granahan McCourt as Preferred Bidder in the National Broadband Plan State intervention. The Government decision means that it is intended to award the State intervention contract to National Broadband Ireland. This is the final step in the State's National Broadband Plan ('NBP') procurement process before a contract is awarded and deployment begins in the Intervention Area.
Since 2013, the Department has engaged in an extensive process of mapping broadband availability in Ireland in order to identify areas which have no existing or planned Next Generation Access (NGA) networks. At this point, it is now important to give the Department certainty with respect to the scope of the Intervention Area. Therefore, following this consultation, the Department will conclude its mapping exercise and confirm the scope of the Intervention Area for the purposes of the deployment.
Through this consultation, the Department is seeking submissions from network owners or operators that have either:
- (i) an existing NGA network that is not currently represented on the NBP Map and wishes to have that network represented on the NBP Map, or
- (ii) new and substantive NGA network investment plans in the Intervention Area that will be implemented over the next 7 years which would pass the technical, deployment and financial criteria applied by the Department and who would be prepared to enter into legally binding commitment agreement to deliver such investment plans.
- (iii) whether particular barriers exist in deploying NGA networks to premises and if so, to clearly set out what these are and propose solutions on how these issues could be resolved absent State Aid.
The Department also invites retail service providers, premises owners and/or consumers of broadband services that reside in areas marked as Blue or Light Blue on the NBP Map to submit information in particular on the following:
- (i) where they cannot secure access to NGA services from any service provider in their area, details of any correspondence with service providers where broadband services were requested, the eircode of their premises and any other relevant information.
- (ii) whether they have experienced any issues in placing orders, or getting orders/connections implemented for confirmed orders placed to connect premise(s) with an NGA service.
Stakeholders may also submit other comments or observations which do not fall under the above mentioned categories.
It is not expected that there will be a material change to the broadband map in terms of numbers of premises. Notwithstanding any adjustments to the Map deemed appropriate by the Department following this consultation, up or down, the capped subsidy submitted by Granahan McCourt and approved on the 7th May by Government, cannot increase, it can only decrease.
In accordance with Article 3.2 of the
EU Guidelines for the Application of State Aid Rules in relation to the Rapid Deployment of Broadband Networks concerning public consultation, Member States should give adequate publicity to the main characteristics of the measure and to the list of target areas by publishing the relevant information of the project and inviting comment.
The consultation documents are available in pdf form below.
The deadline for submissions has now been extended by three weeks to 5pm on 20th September 2019 and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
National Broadband Plan Division
Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment
29-31 Adelaide Road
Responses to this consultation are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007-2014. Confidential or commercially sensitive information should be clearly identified in your submission, however parties should also note that any or all responses to the consultation are subject in their entirety to the provisions of the FOI Acts and are likely to be published on the website of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
By responding to the consultation, respondents consent to their name being published online with the submission. The Department will redact personal addresses and personal email addresses prior to publication. We would draw your attention to the Department's privacy statement:
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment requires responders to provide certain personal data in order to provide services and carry out the functions of the Department. Your personal data may be exchanged with other Government Departments and Agencies in certain circumstances, where lawful. Full details can be found in our Data Privacy Notice which is available
here or in hard copy on request.