National Broadband Plan rollout surpasses 80k homes

Still some distance to go to reach 559,000 premises across rural Ireland.

National Broadband Ireland, the business tasked with delivering the National Broadband Plan, has surpassed 80,000 premises passed, including more than 7,000 farms.

The milestone was announced today (22 September) at the Ploughing Championships in Laois.

“The NBP represents an overall investment of up to €2.7bn in rural Ireland and is all about bridging the digital divide and providing opportunities for all”

National Broadband Ireland is designing, building and operating the new high-speed fibre broadband network for rural Ireland on behalf of the Irish Government.

Bridging the digital divide

The business, tasked with delivering the National Broadband Plan to 559,000 premises across rural Ireland, recently revealed that the total construction workforce delivering the roll-out has risen to more than 1,500 people.

“Access to the high-speed network will enable Irish farmers to take advantage of these developments to improve their productivity and profitability,” said Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy Ossian Smyth, TD.

“The NBP represents an overall investment of up to €2.7bn in rural Ireland and is all about bridging the digital divide and providing opportunities for all.”

NBI will be responsible for the management of the new national broadband network for at least the next 25 years.

“With 80,000 premises now passed, I am very confident the NBP rollout is showing real momentum,” said National Broadband Ireland chair David McCourt. “Ultimately, we will connect 560,000 homes, farms, businesses and schools or over 1.1m people. Our commitment is to decentralise opportunity and ensure rural Ireland is not left behind as the limitless possibilities created by becoming one of the most connected countries in Europe are beginning to be realised.”

European infrastructure specialist Asterion recently acquired a majority stake (80%) in National Broadband Ireland.

Carlow farmer, John Monahan illustrated the benefits of being connected to the fibre network. “A reliable high-speed broadband connection is an absolute essential for Ireland’s farming community. To be based in rural County Carlow and able to connect to next generation fibre broadband has brought huge benefits.

“I can store my grain safely for longer because I have been able to install high-tech temperature sensors in the grain store which are linked to weather reports and trigger fans when needed. All the agricultural forms I need to submit are now online as well and having a high-speed broadband connection has made my life so much easier.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.