National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company delivering the new future-proofed, high-speed Fibre-to-the-Home network under the National Broadband Plan (NBP) on behalf of the Government, has announced that the first premises in Dundalk, Co. Louth have been successfully connected.
Up to 8,675 premises in County Louth are included in the State’s Intervention Area, which will see NBI deliver minimum speeds of 500 megabits per second to homes, businesses, farms and schools. As the biggest investment in rural Ireland since rural electrification, the County will receive €33 million of Government investment under the NBP.
As a wholesale network operator, NBI does not sell fibre broadband directly to end users, rather it enables services from a range of broadband providers or Retail Service Providers (RSPs). As a wholesale provider, NBI will make the new Fibre-to-the-Home network available to all RSPs operating in the Intervention Area.
Some 50 RSPs have already signed up to sell services on the NBI network and 34 are certified as ready to start providing connections as of today. To see the retail broadband providers that are currently licensed to sell on the NBI™ network, visit NBI.ie/buy
Peter Hendrick, Chief Executive Officer of National Broadband Ireland, said: “National Broadband Ireland is delighted to be able to say that we have now commenced our first connections in Dundalk, County Louth, which will enable users to experience the life-changing benefits that high-speed broadband provides. This is a key milestone for this intervention area.”
“As an increasing number of homes and businesses are being connected, we are confident that the rollout will continue to gather pace as we look to connect thousands more homes and businesses. We are acutely aware that people want access to high-speed broadband and our goal is to deliver that as quickly as possible.”
Ruairí Ó Murchú, Sinn Féin T.D., Louth said: “I welcome today’s milestone of the first connected NBP premises in the Dundalk area. This is a key development that will enable more homes and small businesses to operate online efficiently and ensuring people have access to fit-for-purpose broadband. We need to guarantee that the NBP rollout is carried out as quickly as possible so that more communities, homes, schools and businesses in Dundalk, Louth and across the state have access to high-speed fibre broadband. The government must also ensure interim broadband connection solutions are offered to people who may be waiting a number of years on the rollout, while everything is done to avoid delays and accelerate the rollout.”
Brendan McGahon, Head of Operations for Digiweb, one of the Retail Service Providers servicing the Dundalk area said: “The new connection to high-speed fibre broadband under the National Broadband Plan is going to bring incredible benefits to the people of Dundalk. We are delighted to work with NBI to connect our customers as part of the National Broadband Plan and we have already received some very positive feedback from our customers in Louth, who are experiencing some of the substantial benefits of high-speed fibre broadband.”
Thomas Staunton, owner of Staunton Office Supplies, one of the first customers connected to the NBI network in Dundalk said: “As a business owner, having access to high-speed broadband in the office and at home is crucial for the running of my business. During lockdown, I was connected to the NBI network with Digiweb and as a result I was able to operate my entire business and manage online orders seamlessly from my home thanks to the National Broadband Plan. Previously this was not possible due to a very slow internet connection. At home, we are already experiencing the benefits of high-speed fibre broadband.”
NBI contractors have been on the ground since January 2020 surveying townlands across the county. This involves physically walking the routes and documenting images, notes and measurements of the poles, cables and underground ducts in each area, and enables design solutions for the provision of the fibre network.
Under the National Broadband Plan, 554,000 premises nationwide are included in the Intervention Area, which was established by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to identify areas where commercial operators are not currently providing access to high-speed broadband or do not intend to.
Broadband Connection Points (BCPs)
In advance of the Fibre-to-the-Home roll out, the NBP provides for the delivery of Broadband Connection Points (BCP’s) nationwide. 454 of these sites are now ‘live’ and have both internal and external broadband access. These facilities – which include sports clubs, community centres and tourist sites – will provide free public access to high-speed internet in the rollout area.
These BCP’s will pave the way for rural communities to receive the benefits of broadband, from mobile working, e-learning and mobile banking, to digital tourism. You can view BCPs at /bcp-map/. An example of some of the locations of Broadband Connection Points in Louth will include Mattock Rangers GAA Club, Clogherhead Pier, Port Beach, Templetown Beach, Stephenstown, Annaghminnon Rovers GAA Club, Killanny GAA Club. Primary schools in the Intervention Area are also being connected for educational access as part of the NBP.
Keep up to Speed!
NBI is encouraging people to check their eligibility and register for updates at www.nbi.ie to receive regular notifications related to their own premises as works progresses in their area.
Left to Right – Franko Oliver of National Broadband Ireland, Thomas Staunton of Staunton Office Supplies, Brendan McGahon of Digiweb and Ruairí Ó Murchú TD.