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'A Vote of Confidence' European Investment Bank announcement of funding for National Broadband Plan is welcomed by the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten TD

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April 13th 2018

 

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD, has welcomed the announcement by the Board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) of its approval of €500 million in new financing for Ireland's National Broadband Plan (NBP). 

 

'This is a huge vote of confidence for our plan and our work to date to bring high speed broadband to every home, business and farm in Ireland through the National Broadband Plan.  It is hugely significant from an Irish and a European perspective as more than half of the total financing approved by the Board of EIB relates to Ireland's National Broadband Plan,' stated Minister Naughten.

 

At its Board meeting on the 12th of April 2018 the Board approved financing totalling €987 million for 9 projects, including an allocation of €500 million for a high speed telecommunication network in Ireland.  These funds can be leveraged by both the public and private sector in the rollout of high speed broadband infrastructure to 542,000 premises under the NBP. 

 

The European Investment Bank supports sound investments that will progress EU policy goals, including the digital economy.   Projects supported by the EIB have access to reliable and affordable finance from a recognised EU financial institution under the Investment Plan for Europe.

 

"Today's announcement provides the potential for better value for money in the cost of the network and allows for sound financial planning by both the public and private sector as we deliver on the National Broadband Plan.  The procurement process is now in the final stages and the EIB's announcement provides a significant endorsement of the National Broadband Plan.  It brings us a step closer to achieving the ultimate goal of the plan and delivering a personal priority for me, which is access for all, regardless of location, to high speed broadband," concluded Minister Naughten.

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Note to Editors:

 

The European Investment Bank (www.eib.org) is the European Union's bank. The EIB is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States.   EIB works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy.

 

EIB is the world's largest multilateral borrower and lender, providing finance and expertise for sustainable investment projects that contribute to EU policy objectives.

 

The Government's National Broadband Plan (NBP) (www.broadband.gov.ie) aims to ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location.  The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector.  Today, almost 7 out of 10 of the 2.3 million premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband.  This will increase to nearly 8 out of 10 premises by the end of 2018 and by 2020 it is expected that 9 out of 10 premises will have access to a high speed broadband connection of at least 30 megabits per second download speed. This is being achieved via a combination of commercial investment and a State led intervention. 

 

The Department for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (www.dccae.gov.ie)  is in a formal procurement process to select a company who will roll-out a new high speed broadband network in the State intervention area.  That procurement process is now in its final stages.

 

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