The roll out of high-speed broadband to over 34,000 premises in Donegal has moved one step closer, according to National Broadband Ireland, the company which will roll out the National Broadband Plan.
Chief Executive Peter Hendrick says Donegal will receive an investment of €135 million to provide fibre broadband to 34,107 homes.
In total, he says, 33% of all premises in Donegal will be passed and eligible for connection.
Once the contract is closed, Mr Hendrick says the first homes could be passed and connected by early autumn next year..........
NBI statement in full -
The roll out of high-speed broadband to over 34,000 premises in Donegal has moved one step closer, as the Government announced that work to finalise the contract for the National Broadband Plan (NBP) is well progressed (report here). This is welcome news for the many homes and business premises inCounty Donegal which are adversely affected by lack of broadband and many of which have been lobbying their local representatives for years to get the same services as their counterparts in the capital and major cities around the country. The high-speed broadband roll- out will cover the remaining one in three premises in the county.
Communications Minister Richard Bruton recently told the Cabinet that "it is crucial that we move to sign the contract so that the one million people who today are without access, are not left behind". National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is the Preferred Bidder for the contract, and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already indicated that he would like to have the contract signed by the National Ploughing Championships in mid-September this year. The first homes could be passed and connected by early autumn next year once the contract is closed”.
Donegal will receive an investment of €135 million to provide fibre broadband to 34,107 homes in the Intervention Area (IA). This is a mapped area of rural Ireland where high-speed broadband is currently not commercially available and it encompasses over half a million premises, including 56,000 farms and 44,000 businesses. In Donegal, this includes areas such as Kildarragh, Tory Island and Glencar. In total, 33% of all premises in Donegal will be passed and eligible for connection. The high-speed broadband is set to revolutionise working and home life for many who have had limited or congested connectivity up until now. Some of the many benefits of high-speed broadband include e-learning, remote monitoring of livestock or equipment, e-health initiatives, better energy efficiency in the home, more remote working and the availability of value bundle phone, TV and internet packages.
Commenting on the latest news, Cllr. Nicholas Crossan, Cathaoirleach of the Donegal County Council said, “Donegal County Council welcome the planned delivery of the National Broadband Plan and the associated substantial investment by the government. We as a Council have worked in partnership with various telecommunication providers and government departments in the delivery of high- speed Broadband to 67% of the homes and premises in the county and this has resulted in significant investment and job creation in Donegal. We are committed to continuing with this partnership approach to ensure that those living and working outside of the towns and villages already served will also receive high speed broadband over the coming years, ensuring the opportunities afforded by the digital economy are available to all.”
Pramerica employ over 1,800 people in Donegal making them one of the largest employers in the county. Pramerica’s Vice President of Strategy & Planning, Paul Walker commented, “At Pramerica, we provide a vast range of business and technology services to Prudential Financial, Inc., who operate in over 30 countries. Our aim is to enhance Prudential Financials’ business performance by bringing forward strategic, innovative and cost-effective solutions. How do we do this? Through our talent. Pramerica’s focus is our people. We now have over 1,800 talented individuals working in a thriving and diverse company. We offer fantastic work flexibility including teleworking options and variable starting times. The NBP investment in all areas of Donegal will allow us to continue to focus on our people and we welcome the rollout over the coming years.”
NBI chief executive Peter Hendrick said he welcomed Minister Bruton’s recent progress update and said his team are continuing to work hard to ensure contract close in the coming months "Some members of the team recently met with regional service providers – including several from Donegal – for information briefings about how their businesses can integrate with the NBP. We have also initiated a regional communications campaign to ensure local media and public representatives are provided with up to date and important information regarding the project, to ensure they can deliver that to the public. We look forward to engaging with local communities in the future once the contract is signed and we start our work across Ireland”.
“In addition to the €135 million we will be investing in Donegal, we will also be creating 2,000 jobs across rural Ireland with the national roll-out of broadband, which will be a substantial boost to the local economies. Access to broadband will also create secondary employment to existing local business and enterprises which have been struggling to compete in the current digital economy” added Donal Hanrahan, Head of Deployment, NBI.