Source: Gorey Guardian
By: Maria Pepper

The first homes in Wexford are expected to be connected to the National Broadband Network early next year as National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company working with the Government to deliver the National Broadband Plan announced that surveying works are underway in several areas of the county.

Contractors have been on the ground since January surveying townlands in Oylegate, Castlebridge, Taghmon, Ballykelly, and Barntown. Over 3,500 premises have been surveyed to date in the county, including other areas such including Castle Ellis, Kilbride, Ballyhuskard, Bridgetown and Whitechurch.

The work involves physically walking the routes documenting images, notes and measurements of the poles, cables, and underground ducts in each area. The purpose is to enable design solutions for the provision of a fibre network to every premises in the Intervention Area – a map of almost 537,000 premises nationwide identified by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment as not being served with adequate broadband services.

In Wexford, there are 22,175 premises in the Intervention Area (IA), which includes homes, farms, commercial businesses and schools. This equates tp 27 per cent on all premises in the country.

Under the National Broadband Plan Wexford will see an investment of €88m in the new high-speed fibre network. This will enable e-learning, remote monitoring of livestock or equipment, e-health initiatives, better energy efficiency in the home, and more remote working all of which support the National Development Plan.

The first homes in Wexford will be connected early next year, while over 115,000 premises nationwide will be passed by the fibre network and available for connections in the next 18 months.

NBI expects that in year three of the rollout 40% of all premises in the IA will have access to future-proofed high-speed FTTH (Fibre- To -The – Home) broadband.

NBI has updated its website with a search tool to enable the public to check whether their premises is within the rollout area, and to show indicative dates for early surveying areas.

Separately the interim Broadband Connection Points (BCP) scheme is well underway with NBI surveying of approximately 300 locations throughout Ireland.

These facilities which include GAA clubs, schools and community centres will provide free access to high-speed internet in the rollout area, allowing rural communities in the IA to receive the benefits of broadband.

In Wexford, some BCP’s include Hook Head Lighthouse, Ballyfad Community Centre and both Marshalstown and St. Marys GAA clubs. BCP locations are subject to change and will be operated by a designated internet service provider.