Connected Communities is an initiative of the Government of Ireland, in partnership with Vodafone. It is the national communications name of the Broadband Connection Points (BCP) programme enabled by National Broadband Ireland, which will connect circa. 300 centres and locations across rural Ireland to give them access to high-speed broadband services. The aim is to unlock the potential of communities across the country through best in class broadband connectivity, transforming how people all over Ireland live, work, learn and play.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the BCP and Connected Communities initiative?
Connected Communities is the national brand name for the Government of Ireland’s Broadband Connection Points (or BCPs) initiative. BCPs are publicly accessible locations in areas with poor broadband coverage including many of our offshore islands. These sites will make onsite use of high-speed broadband available to the public for a range of uses. The majority of sites have been provided with a temporary wireless broadband connection by NBI under the National Broadband Plan. Vodafone Ireland provide the onsite super-fast WiFi service. The locations of the BCPs have been selected by local authorities in consultation with local communities and site owners, supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. BCPs are typically community centres, sports clubs and other public spaces.
What can BCPs be used for?
Each BCP will provide a minimum 150Mb service to users, with indoor and outdoor WiFi access. This will enable local people, visitors or tourists access to the internet for a variety of uses. At present, BCPs are used as remote work and study hubs, for the delivery of eHealth and in-person health services, for arts and culture activities, and for a range of skills training and educational courses. As the project matures, services will be broadened at BCPs to ensure the network continues to meet local needs in line with the circumstances of each site.
When will the BCPs be available in my area?
The connection date for each BCP depends on the complexity of the installation. As sites ‘go live’ their status changes on the online map. This happens regularly, so keep an eye on the map or make contact with your local authority Broadband Officer for more information. There will be 300 BCPs live by the end of the build phase.
What does this have to do with the National Broadband Plan?
The National Broadband Plan is an ambitious project spanning 96% of the country’s land mass and the roll-out will take time, this is the first phase of that plan. The Broadband Connection Point or Connected Communities initiative was borne out of recognising the urgency to connect rural communities as quickly as possible to ensure businesses, community centres, students and others can connect to high-speed broadband for things such as e-learning and digital tourism.
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