Major milestone in the National Broadband Plan as Ministers Humphreys and Ryan launch Broadband Connection Points
- More than 50 sites connected across the country under new “Connected Communities” initiative
- 275 sites to be connected by the end of the year
Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, and Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, today (announced that the first group of Broadband Connection Points, a key element of the Government’s National Broadband Plan, have been connected.
Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are among the first premises to be connected under the National Broadband Plan and are located in some of the most isolated and rural communities in the country, including islands off the coast of Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Galway and Cork.
Announcing the initiative, Minister Humphreys said:
“The launch of the first of the Broadband Connection Points under the Connected Communities initiative represents an investment in rural futures and recognises the contribution that rural Ireland makes to the culture, innovation and economy of our country. More than 50 locations have already been connected by Vodafone Ireland and NBI, with more sites to be installed each week from now until the end of the year and beyond.
“The COVID-19 crisis has shown the value of digital technology in enabling workers, businesses and families to stay connected and in touch with each other. The BCPs are intended to bring people together through digital connectivity, and it’s that togetherness that I want to emphasise.
“When people can work from their own communities, they can maintain the close connections that matter most: family, friends, community, and their homes. More than that, they can support local businesses, sports and community groups, all of which contributes to sustainable communities.”
Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland, said:
“Vodafone is proud today to partner with Government to officially launch Connected Communities – Broadband Connection Points in rural communities across Ireland. We are delighted to announce that the first 50 connection points are now live.
“The last eight months have propelled us – in terms of how we live, work and interact – on a fast track to embracing the digital society more fully. Such a dramatic behavioural shift with regards to increased remote or smart working, the rise of online learning, shopping and social interaction, has resulted in a sudden and abrupt change in how we need and use connectivity.
“We must now focus on rebuilding our society and economy to be more resilient, more competitive, more digital, and more inclusive. We know that connectivity has to be at the heart of that recovery. The BCPs will provide an opportunity to transform the economic and social fabric of rural towns and communities by addressing the digital divide, improving lives, creating jobs and stimulating rural economic growth”.
Welcoming the launch of the initiative, David McCourt, Executive Chairman of National Broadband Ireland, said:
“Today is an extremely proud day for NBI as it marks the first tangible connections for communities to receive high speed connectivity as part of the National Broadband Plan.
“Broadband Connection Points offer rural communities essential access to free high-speed internet access and they pave the way for the wider rollout of the National Broadband Plan, which as a project of tremendous size and scale. It will deliver world-leading Fibre-to-the-Home broadband directly to almost 540,000 homes, farms and businesses. With today’s launch, we’re excited for communities to start realising the transformational benefits that high-speed connectivity can bring to so many aspects of people’s lives.
“Since being awarded the contract to deliver the National Broadband Plan and work commencing in January, our team has mobilised quickly to make excellent progress in our rollout schedule. Today, our teams are working across 23 counties and we’ve surveyed over 98,000 premises, which involves physically walking the routes where fibre will be laid.
“The first homes will be connectable to a high-speed broadband service by the year-end, and we’re proud to play our role in making sure every person in Ireland has equal access to high-speed broadband and the opportunities that come with that.”