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 the Mullingar Deployment Area have been successfully connected.
Up to 11,823 premises in County Westmeath 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 €46 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, CEO of National Broadband Ireland, said: “National Broadband Ireland is delighted to be able to say that we have now commenced our first connections in Westmeath, 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.”
Robert Troy, T.D., Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, said: “I welcome today’s milestone of the first connections made to premises in the Mullingar Deployment Area under the National Broadband Plan. This is a key development for the digital footprint of the area, and an important step towards ensuring that communities, homes, schools and businesses across county Westmeath have access to high-speed fibre broadband.”
Paul Cahill, Director with ebroadband, said: “The new connection to high-speed fibre broadband under the National Broadband Plan is going to bring incredible benefits to the people of Westmeath. We are delighted to work with NBI to connect our customers as part of the National Broadband Plan. We are already receiving really positive feedback from our customers in Westmeath, who are now experiencing some of the substantial benefits of high-speed fibre broadband.”
Gerard Connolly, Director of Connolly Accountants and one of the first customers in the Mullingar Deployment Area to be connected to the NBI network said: “Myself and my family were delighted for our home to be connected to high speed broadband by NBI. It’s been a significant positive development for my business as it has enabled me to work remotely. It has also allowed our family to experience a variety of advantages including leisure activities such as streaming.”
Gerard McCormack, Broadband Officer with Westmeath County Councilsaid “Westmeath County Council has been working with NBI to facilitate the delivery of broadband infrastructure in the intervention area in Westmeath. We are delighted to see how local people and businesses are benefitting through a connection to high speed broadband via the National Broadband Plan. This development will bring a variety of new and exciting opportunities to people in the area.”
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. 550 of these sites, including Public BCPs, are now ‘live’. Public BCPs – which include sports clubs, community centres and tourist sites – will provide free public access to high-speed internet in the rollout area. Other BCP categories include schools and marts.
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 Westmeath include Clonkill Hurling Club, Whitehall Community Centre, Milltown Emper Community Centre and Streete Parish Park and Community Hall. 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.
Image Caption – (Left to Right) Paul Cahill from ebroadband, Minister of State Robert Troy, Gerard Connolly, Michelle Connolly, Peter Hendrick, CEO of National Broadband Ireland, Gerard McCormack, Broadband Officer, Westmeath County Council, David Murphy from ebroadband and in front James Connolly, Rosie Connolly and William Connolly, at the Connollys’ home in Ballynacargy, one of the first premises in the Mullingar Deployment Area to be connected to the NBI network .