The Rural Broadband Scheme (RBS) was set up in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture as a measure under the Rural Development Plan. The scheme was designed to enable the provision of basic broadband to rural premises which were not capable of obtaining a service from a commercial operator.
During the Application Phase, which closed on the 29th of July 2011, we received 5,000 applications from individuals across the Country. Of these, approximately 3,700 qualified and their details were passed to participating operators. A total of 29 operators participated in the scheme which ensured applicants received at least one offer of service. Services were offered without the need for subsidy and therefore there was no Government expenditure under the scheme.
With basic services now available across the Country, our focus is on the delivery of high speed broadband to all citizens regardless of their geographical location. The Government's National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland. Through a combination of commercial and State led investment, all parts of Ireland will have access to a modern and reliable high speed broadband network, capable of supporting current and future generations.