White fibre optic cables

National Broadband Plan: eir commits to commercial rollout to 300,000 premises

This rollout is to be completed by end-2018.

Today, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD, announced that his Department has signed a contract with eir to roll out high-speed broadband to over 300,000 premises in the next 90 weeks.

These premises were previously part of the State Intervention Area for the National Broadband Plan, but the Minister has said that this commercial agreement will bring high-speed broadband to premises even quicker.

Once the infrastructure is in place, eir will have to allow other providers to access their network, so we may see some competition for customers in these areas.

eir has also committed to stringent timelines, and there are penalties built into the contract in the event that eir doesn’t meet these targets.

Now that this contract has been agreed, the Minister has also updated the High-Speed Broadband Map, removing these 300,000 premises and adding 84,500 premises which were due to be serviced by a commercial investment which has not materialised.

Not sure if you’re covered under eir’s rollout of the State Intervention?

The best way to find out how you’re covered under the scheme is to search for your address on the interactive map. Your premises will either show up in an Amber, Dark Blue or Light Blue area.

  • If your premises is in an amber area, this means you’re in the target area for the State Intervention of the National Broadband Plan.
  • If your premises is in a dark blue area, commercial operators are either delivering or have indicated plans to deliver high speed broadband services.
  • If the area is light blue, you’ll be covered by concrete plans from commercial operators to deliver high speed broadband in rural areas. This commercial rollout will primarily consist of Fibre to the Home (FTTH) connections and premises in these areas can expect significant improvement to their broadband services by the end of 2018.

What does this news mean for the rollout of the National Broadband Plan?

Basically, now that the map which highlights the areas for state intervention has been finalised, the three shortlisted bidders can finalise their tenders.

The Minister didn’t give any indication of when the contract (or contracts) will be awarded, but he did commit to the ‘vast majority’ of premises in the country having access to broadband speeds of at least 30Mbps by end-2020.

“A good day for rural Ireland”

Speaking about the announcement today, Minister Naughten said today was a good day for rural Ireland, adding that it is a “clear indication that the state’s commitment to Broadband is driving investment from the commercial sector”.

He also said that, 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.”