National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company rolling out the new high speed fibre broadband network under the Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP), today welcomed the European Commission’s inaugural report on the state of the digital decade, finding that Ireland is ‘expected to make a positive contribution to the collective efforts to achieve the EU’s Digital Decade targets’

Providing the most comprehensive review on the EU’s progress towards a successful digital transformation as set out in the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030, the report highlights the need to accelerate and deepen the collective efforts, including through policy measures and investment in digital technologies, skills and infrastructures.  

In its summary of Ireland’s performance, the report states: “The country demonstrates continuous commitment to a human-centric and green digital transformation,” and continues to say “Ireland is progressing well with the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the connection of primary schools to broadband networks.”

Commenting on the report, Peter Hendrick, CEO of National Broadband Ireland, commented: “The report rightly highlights Ireland’s position supporting Europe’s vision for a gigabit economy by 2030, and at NBI we are proud to play a key role in expanding the rollout of futureproofed high-speed broadband to every premises in the country that has been underserved by commercial operators to ensure equal access and equal opportunities.

“The report observes that Ireland – like many countries in Europe – has faced challenges in terms of take-up of high-speed broadband services. At NBI, we are bucking this trend with take-up rates above 40% in areas where our network has been live for longer than six months and average take-up rates well ahead of projections and international comparisons.”

NBI hopes to increase take-up figures to more than 80% over time. The company’s emphasis on delivering quality broadband has translated into highly satisfied end broadband customers, proven by its Net Promotor Score. With scores ranging from -100 to +100 based on how likely respondents state they would be to recommend a company or product, NBI has consistently achieved results that are almost unheard of in telecoms (+45 in 2023). 

Hendrick concluded: “As the biggest investment in rural Ireland since electrification, it’s critical that our network achieves strong take-up in order to deliver value back to the state and it’s been pleasing to see that the reaction from both global and regional retail service providers (RSPs) has surpassed expectations, playing a major role in driving end-user take-up. In the first two years, we had almost 60 RSPs selling services on our network because we had developed and onboarded an operating environment that was purpose-built for open-access. 

“Running the largest Public Private Partnership in European telecoms, NBI is proud to be supporting the ambitious vision that Ireland shares with the European Commission and is delivering the country’s National Broadband Plan on schedule, on budget, and in line with policy objectives.”

The full EU report can be found here.