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First phase of National Broadband Plan (NBP) underway in Wicklow

Date: 25 August 2020

I was delighted to see recent confirmation of an investment of €59 million in the new high-speed fibre network for Wicklow. The National Broadband plan was a key commitment of the Green Party when entering into Government and the recent announcement is particularly welcome. I am contacted on a weekly basis by people having issues with broadband connections, particularly as more of us are working from home and I will continue to work with Minister Eamon Ryan to ensure that progress is made on such a vital issue for so many parts of the county.

The report detailed the progress that has been made so far and outlined that that surveys have been ongoing in parts of Wicklow including Powerscourt, Kilmacanoge, Calary, Greystones, Newcastle, Delgany, Killiskey, Glenealy, Kilcoole, and parts of Roundwood. Other areas under surveying include townlands in the Blessington area and Lackan, Lugglass, and Hollywood.

This will enable design solutions for the provision of a fibre network to every premises in the Intervention Area. In Wicklow, there are 14,871 premises the Intervention Area (IA), which includes homes, farms, commercial businesses and schools. This equates to 23% of all premises in the county. NBI has updated its website with a search tool to enable the public to check whether their premises is within the rollout area, and to show indicative dates for early surveying areas.

The investment of €59M in the new high-speed fibre network will enable e-learning, remote monitoring of livestock or equipment, e-health initiatives, better energy efficiency in the home, and more remote working – all of which are key initiatives from the Green Party. The first homes in Wicklow will be connected early next year.

Separately, I welcome the news that the Broadband Connection Points (BCP) delivery project is well underway and NBI surveying of approximately 300 locations throughout Ireland. These facilities - which include GAA clubs, schools, community centres and other public facilities – will provide free access to high speed internet in the rollout area. These will pave the way for rural communities in the IA to receive the benefits of broadband, from mobile working, e-learning and mobile banking, to digital tourism. BCPs in Wicklow include Clermont House, Killurney Community Centre, Brockagh Resource Centre and St Kevin’s School, Laragh and Dunlavin GAA Club.



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