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Naughten finalizes the Broadband Intervention Map for National Broadband Plan and signs eir commitment to build out to 300,000 rural premises on a commercial basis

Additional 300,000 premises to get access to commercial high speed broadband within 90 weeks

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD has paved the way to ensure that an additional 300,000 premises across Ireland can access high speed broadband within 90 weeks.

These premises were previously part of the State Intervention Area but will now be provided by Eir.

The Minister has also updated the map to add 84,500 premises to the State Intervention Area. This is as a result of commercial investment which has not materialized.

With this latest development, the Broadband Map which shows the premises which will require state intervention can now be finalised. The three consortia that have been short listed in the procurement process to provide high speed broadband to premises in the intervention area can now, with some certainty provide tenders.

Minister Denis Naughten said “Today is a good day for rural Ireland. The agreement that I have signed with Eir means one house every minute of every working day will get fibre to the door high speed broadband over the next 90 weeks. 300,000 more rural premises will have access to high speed quality broadband – that’s an extra 500 houses every day. Over the last four years commercial operators have invested over €2.5bn upgrading telecoms networks and services. This is a clear indication that the state’s commitment to Broadband is driving investment from the commercial sector. With the finalisation of the Broadband map one of the key uncertainties in the procurement process has now been removed and will allow us to move closer to our goal of ensuring all premises in Ireland will have access to high speed broadband.”

In 2016 only 52% of premises in Ireland had access to High Speed Broadband (HSB). With this latest development 77% of premises will have access to HSB by the end of 2018 and the majority of the remaining premises will have access by the end of 2020.

The revised National Broadband Plan intervention map will be available on the Department’s website [ ] and people can check their premises.


About the National Broadband Plan
The National Broadband Plan is a Government policy initiative which aims to deliver high speed broadband to every citizen and business in Ireland. The National Broadband Plan's ambition is to achieve 100% coverage across Ireland within 3 – 5 years of commencement of large scale rollout. This will be achieved through a combination of accelerated commercial investment by telecoms operators, and State intervention to deliver access to high speed broadband to those parts of the country (State Intervention Area) where there is no certainty that the commercial sector will invest. To date 1.4m premises can access High Speed Broadband as a result of commercial investment under the National Broadband Plan.

The Department of Communications, Climate Acton and the Environment is managing a procurement process to select a company or companies who will roll-out a new high speed broadband network within the State Intervention Area, with the cost to be part-funded by a Government subsidy. European Regional Development Funding will also be used. The Department is currently engaged in a “competitive dialogue” process with the three bidders.

The procurement process commenced in December 2015 and takes the form of a competitive dialogue which involves several complex stages. In July 2016, three consortia were shortlisted as bidders and invited to participate in formal dialogue and intensive discussions are on-going. The purpose of the dialogue process is to tease through very detailed specifications and to trouble shoot issues arising, ultimately to deliver a robust and fit-for-purpose contract and network. Dialogue started in July 2016 and has been intensive.

The next phase is the Invitation to Submit Detailed Solutions (ISDS). This is an invitation to bidders to submit their proposed solutions and is the stage before bidders are asked to submit final bids.

What is the difference between blue and light blue areas on the map?

The map will be published today on the department’s website and shows three categories of areas:
Blue area shows the areas where commercial operators are either currently delivering or have plans to deliver high speed broadband
Light Blue represents rural locations where eir is planning to deliver high speed broadband by the end of 2018.
Amber represents the areas that will require state intervention and are the subject of the current procurement process.

What is in the eir Commitment Agreement?

Key points committed to by eir include a requirement:

• to pass 100% of the 300,575 premises;
• to connect at least 95% of orders made by service providers/end users at the standard regulated connection charge;
• to ensure all premises receive the minimum 30 megabits per second download and 6 megabits per second upload speeds. eir have submitted plans to meet this requirement with a predominantly Fibre to the home build (c. 90%);
• to achieve agreed milestone targets for premises passed each quarter with a completion date of December 2018;

• Extent of Build:
o They are rolling out to 300,575 Premises
o Approx. 90% FTTH & 10% VDSL
o 810,000 citizens ( 17% population)
o 387,000 members of the labour force (21% of total)
o 28,209 farms ( 33% of total)
o 47,096 SMEs, primarily micro
o 1,085 schools
o 300 business parks

What is the extent of the Intervention Area?

The Intervention Area includes:
542,000 postal addresses
990,000 citizens (21% of national population)
381,000 members of the labour force
52,057 farms (61% of national total of farms)
47,096 SMEs, primarily micro
437 schools (13% of total)
310 business parks (4% of national total)

Industry investment:
Industry has invested €2.5bn in upgrading telecoms networks and services over the last four years.
Today, circa 1.4m homes and business in Ireland can access high speed broadband services of at least 30 Megabits per second.
Virgin Media currently offers services of up to 360Mbps to over 860k premises
eir’s broadband rollout of services of up to 100Mbps has passed 1.3m premises across Ireland.
SIRO Over 50,000 premises have been passed already and 500,000 are proposed to be passed in total.
enet has this week announced it will be investing over €5M in broadband infrastructure to supply high-speed connectivity to ten towns in the next phase of its fibredirect initiative. The towns selected are Donegal Town, Buncrana, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Cootehill, Castleblayney, Ballinasloe and Manorhamilton. This next wave of the project follows enet’s success in transforming the broadband experience in Claremorris, Loughrea, Ardee and Kilkenny through delivery of 1 Gigabit capacity which is enabling local businesses to take full advantage of digital markets and exploit online opportunities.
Fixed wireless operator Imagine is rolling out to rural towns and villages. Westnet and Ripplecom have announced investments.

Further information is available at the National Broadband Plan page.