intervention strategy outlines how 100% high-speed broadband access will be achieved by 2020 under government’s national broadband plan
minister for communications alex white, td, today (wednesday) published an intervention strategy, which sets out how the government proposes to ensure the provision of high-speed broadband in areas where the commercial sector will not invest on its own. the minister said he was on schedule to move to formal procurement of the state-provided element of high speed broadband infrastructure before the end of 2015.
the draft strategy, and seven detailed expert reports on specific aspects of the intervention, will now be subject to public consultation, which is required under eu rules for state aid interventions. the consultation runs until 14th september 2015.
under the national broadband plan (nbp), the government has committed to delivering high speed broadband access to every home, school and business in the country by 2020, regardless of where they are located. the strategy published today explains what will be expected of companies that bid to deliver the state intervention element of the nbp.
speaking at a stakeholder event at croke park today, minister white said: “in 2010, before this government came to office, high speed broadband was only available to 300,000 homes in ireland. that figure has grown to well over a million homes, with the potential for commercial operators to deliver high speed services to as many as 1.9 million premises.
“under the intervention strategy i’m publishing today, we expect that 85% of the premises in ireland will have access to high speed broadband in 2018, increasing to 100% by 2020.
“since becoming minister for communications, my approach has been to honestly point out the scale and challenge of the project we are delivering. it takes time and detailed planning to deliver a programme of this scale and ambition. it is an infrastructure for the future. we will only be doing it once, and we intend to get it right.
“last november, i published the high speed broadband map, which helped us define the areas that need state intervention to ensure that every home, school, business, and community in ireland gets access to quality broadband. at that time, i said we would publish the intervention strategy in mid-2015. today i am making good on that commitment. i expect to be in a position to sign a contract or contracts with a winning bidder or bidders by mid-2016. we can then begin to physically connect our communities – all of our communities – to a modern, future-proofed, high-speed broadband network.”
the intervention strategy outlines various aspects of the proposed intervention including the type of network envisaged, the minimum speeds being demanded, the length of the contact for services, and whether the network should be public or privately owned. it also says bidders for the contract must:
· establish and maintain quality standards, including minimum speeds.
· create an infrastructure that is capable of meeting current and future data demands.
· deliver a wholesale service that is open to all retailers, with benchmarked and transparent pricing and conditions for access.
· ensure that services are affordable, competitive and of a comparable standard and price, regardless of where you live.
the expert reports that are also being published for consultation outline the economic, technical and financial analyses that informed the proposed approach to procurement.
notes to editors
the public consultation documents are available at www.broadband.gov.ie.