Rural Broadband – Our Role

The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to measures to assist in the rollout of the network once a contract or contracts have been awarded.  The Department of Rural & Community Development has been tasked with ensuring there are no local barriers to deployment and also with identifying priority areas for rollout which will in turn feed into the procurement process and rollout schedule for the winning bidder(s).

The Department has established 2 Regional Broadband Action Groups, who will work with Local Authorities, Local Enterprise Offices, LEADER Groups and other relevant agencies. The Action Groups will work to accelerate the broadband network build in rural Ireland, once a contract(s) has been awarded, by ensuring that there are no local barriers identifying priority areas for rollout. They will also assist in the development of Rural Digital Strategies, as set out in the Programme for a Partnership Government.

Who will benefit from the National Broadband Plan?

Through ongoing commercial investment, most of our cities and towns will benefit from high speed broadband over the coming years. The areas that are not covered by commercial investment are the target for the State funded investment.

The NBP’s ambition is to achieve 100% coverage across Ireland. This will be achieved through a combination of commercial investment and the State-led intervention.  The profile of the area expected to be addressed by the intervention strategy includes:

  • C. 540,000 postal addresses
  • 990,000 citizens (21% of national population)
  • 381,000 members of labour force (21% of national total)
  • 52,057 farms (61% of national total of farms)
  • 47,096 SMEs, primarily micro
  • 437 schools (13% of total)
  • 310 business parks (4% of national total)

Broadband Officers

The Department of Rural and Community Development provides funding for an officer with specific responsibility for broadband and mobile services in each local authority.

The Broadband Officer acts as a single point of contact within the local authorities for engagement with telecommunications providers and assists with the preparation for the roll out of the National Broadband Plan  List of Broadband Officers 

Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce

The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce was established in July 2016. The role of the Taskforce was to examine solutions to address broadband/mobile phone coverage deficits and to identify tangible actions that can be taken to improve the quality of broadband and mobile voice services being provided to citizens across Ireland.

The Taskforce Report was published in December 2016, which sets out recommendations and 40 actions to alleviate barriers to mobile reception and broadband access. The Taskforce identified a number of areas where direct action by Government Departments and State Agencies can ensure accelerated benefits to consumers from industry investments.

Actions outlined in the report focus on optimising network performance, improving consistency in relation to planning procedures, enhancing access to infrastructure, engaging with stakeholders on issues impacting on the rollout of telecommunications infrastructure, and equipping consumers to make informed decisions on available products and services.

Implementation Group 

An Implementation Group has been established to oversee the timely implementation of all actions in the Taskforce Report. The Taskforce Implementation Group brings together all key stakeholders identified in the Taskforce report with responsibility for delivery of actions. The Group will play a vital role in monitoring and driving progress, to ensure the full delivery of all actions recommended by the Taskforce.

Quarterly reports on progress made by the Taskforce is available here (https://drcd.gov.ie/about/rural/rural-development/mobile-phone-and-broadband-taskforce/)

Further information, mapping & how to check if I am in the intervention area?

If you would like further information in relation to the NBP, or you would like to check if your premises is located in the intervention area, you can visit the National Broadband Plan website at www.broadband.gov.ie and then locate your premises  on the map, enter your Eircode or use Eircode Finder tool or type your address into the search box.

Contact

For further information on the Department’s role in relation to the NBP please contact the Regional Telecommunications Development Unit at broadband@drcd.gov.ie or on 076 100 6919.