Premises in 22 counties now have fibre access under National Broadband Plan

9 Feb 2022

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Although it is rolling out to more counties, NBI recently said that only 6,000 homes have signed up to receive its fibre broadband.

National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company delivering the National Broadband Plan on behalf of the Government, has announced that high-speed fibre broadband is now available in 22 counties.

NBI said today (9 February) that 55,000 premises across these counties can order and pre-order a connection to the fibre network with their preferred retail service provider (RSP).

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This includes locations in counties such as Carlow, Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Roscommon and Sligo.

The company said premises in additional towns will be able to order by the end of the month, including Ballina, Blessington, Castlebar, Gort, Killarney, Mullingar and Clonmel.

At the end of January, NBI CEO Peter Hendrick told an Oireachtas Joint Committee that only 6,000 homes have signed up and are receiving its fibre broadband so far.

NBI said competition between RSPs leads to more choice for end users, which will ensure quality bundled packages for consumers around voice, broadband, TV and mobile at competitive prices. The company said around 50 RSPs have signed up to sell services on the NBI network, but noted last month that only 34 are certified as ready to start providing connections.

“We will continue to build upon the progress we have made to date as an increasing number of homes and businesses are connected,” Hendrick said.

“With surveys completed for approximately 55pc of the entire intervention area, over 252,000 designs completed and over 150,000 premises already constructed or currently under construction, we are seeing the roll-out gathering significant pace.

“We have the best and brightest minds working tirelessly on the rollout to deliver the National Broadband Plan as quickly as possible,” he added.

The National Broadband Plan aims to connect more than 1.1m people across 544,000 homes, businesses, farms and schools in Ireland where commercial operators do not currently provide high-speed connectivity. The plan includes any new homes built in the intervention area over the next 25 years.

NBI said last month that it is launching a new 2Gbps broadband offer for homes and businesses as part of the roll-out.

The full deployment of the National Broadband Plan contract, which was signed in November 2019, is expected to be complete by 2027 but delays have raised concerns about that deadline being met. The Business Post reported at the end of January that serious questions also remain about the financing, ownership, control and progress of the deal.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com