The Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment is in the final stages of a procurement process to appoint a company to rollout high speed broadband to all houses and businesses in every area of the country.
The NBP remains on track, with a final bid expected from the enet consortium in the coming weeks. It is intended the procurement process will reach a conclusion shortly thereafter.
The E-net consortium has reaffirmed its commitment to the National Broadband Plan and timelines around the procurement process. A formal notification from the consortium with regard to structural changes is awaited.
The Government has allocated an initial €275 million in the Capital Plan (Building on Recovery: Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016-2021), published on 29 September 2015, for the initial years of the network build-out. This €275m represents an initial stimulus for the first five years. Significant further funding will be required over the lifetime of the proposed 25 year contract. The total value of the State subsidy has yet to be finalised and will only be known after the competitive tender process has concluded and final tender has been received.
The Government's National Broadband Plan (NBP) 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 €2.75 billion investment by the telecoms sector over the past five years. Today, 7 out of 10 of the 2.3 million premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband. By 2020, 9 out of 10 of all Irish premises will have access to a high speed broadband connection. This is not only in urban areas – eir's commercial rural deployment plan commits to providing high speed broadband to over 300,000 premises, predominantly in rural areas and including the west of the country. Although, figures for Q2 2018 have not yet been verified by the Department, it is understood that eir have passed a total of 175,000 premises as of Q2 2018.
The NBP is therefore being achieved via a combination of commercial investment and a State led intervention. Information on coverage across the country can be accessed via the Department's High Speed Broadband Map which is available at www.broadband.gov.ie. This map shows the areas targeted by commercial operators to provide high speed broadband services and the areas that will be included in the State Intervention Area under the NBP.
The Map is colour coded and searchable by address/eircode:
• The AMBER (intervention) areas represent the target areas for the proposed State led Intervention under the NBP and are the subject of an ongoing procurement process.
• The BLUE represent those areas where commercial providers are either currently delivering or have plans to deliver high speed broadband services.
• The LIGHT BLUE areas represent eir's commercial rural deployment plans to rollout high speed broadband to 300,000 premises as part of a Commitment Agreement signed in April 2017.
The Department also publishes county statistics in relation to access to high speed broadband on a quarterly basis. Quarter 1 statistics can be accessed here: https://www.dccae.gov.ie/documents/County%20Statistics.pdf
The Government's National Broadband Plan will ensure all premises in the Amber (intervention) area will receive access to a quality, future proofed broadband service, regardless of the location. The process to select a company who will roll out a new high speed broadband network in the State intervention area is now in its final stages. It is expected that on successful close of contract, deployment will begin by the end of this year.