Sinn Féin spokesperson on Broadband and Communications Ruairí Ó Murchú TD has welcomed the commitment by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) to ‘technically and commercially assess the plans to accelerate the National Broadband Plan’.
Teachta Ó Murchú made a number of recommendations around the survey, design, build and connection aspect of the National Broadband Plan, commenting on the number of community accessible Broadband Connection Points that have yet to go live.
Teachta Ó Murchú said: “I welcome NBI’s commitment to provide the Minister for Transport and Communication Networks an update on the possible acceleration of timeframes in early 2021.
“Households just outside of Dundalk and Drogheda in my own constituency face the situation whereas neighbouring households and townlands have access to broadband through private operators while they do not.
“In Dundalk 2,770 households have been given the timeframe of August to October 2021 for an anticipated date for connection.
“I urged NBI given the proximity of private operators and existing infrastructure in areas, that short-term solutions be considered.
“I welcome the commitment made today by NBI to approach private operators to discuss short term solutions for these households.
“The National Broadband Plan aims to have 544,000 homes, schools, farms and businesses fitted with a fibre connection by 2025.
“There will be households waiting five years for a broadband connection. The survey and design phase must take into consideration the fastest option for household connection.
“The announcement by National Broadband Ireland of a team solely focussed on the acceleration of all aspects of the broadband rollout is positive and I look forward to receiving the detailed monthly updates they have committed to.
“At a time when many people are working from home, we need to ensure more than ever that households have access to the broadband service they need and deserve.
“It is imperative that this project is delivered as soon as possible.”