The Department set up the Rural Broadband Scheme (RBS) in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture under the Rural Development Plan. The scheme enabled the provision of basic broadband to rural premises unable to obtain a service from a commercial operator.
During the Application Phase, which closed on 29th of July 2011, we received 5,000 applications from individuals across the Country. Of these, approximately 3,700 qualified and we passed their details to participating operators. A total of 29 operators participated in the scheme which ensured applicants received at least one offer of service. Participating operators offered services without the need for subsidy and therefore there was no Government expenditure under the scheme.
With basic services now available Countrywide, our focus is on the delivery of high speed broadband to all citizens, regardless of geographical location. The Government's National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland. All parts of Ireland will have access to a modern and reliable high speed broadband network. This will be achieved through a combination of commercial and State led investment. It will be capable of supporting current and future generations.