Minister for Communications Alex White, TD, has welcomed the announcement that eircom plans to deliver high-speed broadband access to an additional 300,000 addresses.
Minister White said: "The Government has created the conditions for accelerated telecoms investment, and industry is responding strongly. Initial commercial plans to provide high-speed access to one million homes by 2015 have now expanded into a commitment to provide access to 1.6m homes by the end of 2016, and 1.9 million homes by 2020. 1.2 million addresses already have access to high speed services and fibre-to-the-home will see services of up to 1gbps in some areas.
"The National Broadband Plan is a partnership between the commercial sector and the State to deliver high speed broadband to every home, school and business in Ireland. Today's eircom announcement means the element of the National Broadband Plan that requires State intervention is likely to reduce significantly.
"I am on track to publish the State intervention strategy in July with a view to moving to formal procurement by the end of this year. Roll-out will commence in 2016."
Officials in the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will now revise their National Broadband Plan intervention assumptions and models to take account of eircom's expanded plans. They will seek firm assurances from eircom that their new plans will be realised, as this is a requirement for all operators. The high speed broadband map will then be amended to reflect these plans and those of other operators.