National Broadband Plan Contract Signed
The contract for the National Broadband Plan was signed today, Tuesday 19th November. This follows last week’s decision by the European Commission to grant state aid approval to the Plan.
The Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 2014-20 will contribute approximately €60m to roll out 147,000km of fibre to homes, farms, businesses and schools across the country under the Plan. The Programme is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by the Southern Regional Assembly.
The National Broadband Plan is about making sure no part of Ireland is left behind when it comes to jobs and services by delivering high speed broadband to 1.1. million people – almost a quarter of Ireland. It aims to overcome identified gaps in the provision of high speed broadband services to harness the potential development opportunities in terms of growth, competitiveness, entrepreneurship, jobs and social inclusion for Ireland.
Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment said, “Without high speed broadband it will be significantly more difficult to attract new jobs to rural areas and develop new enterprise opportunities and it will be more difficult to retain the jobs that currently exist in these areas. High speed broadband will allow remote working, which can ease congestion and reduce emissions. It will ensure that the digital revolution happening in education, healthcare, farming and tourism does not bypass rural Ireland. We will make sure that rural Ireland is not left behind.”
The Plan will start to roll out high speed broadband services from January. By the end of 2021, it is expected that a quarter or 130,000 of the total premises in the Plan will be online, with 40% connected by the end of 2022 and 95% of the population capable of receiving a high-speed service after year five.