Source: The Sligo Champion

€59 million is set to be invested in Sligo to help deliver high speed broadband to premises throughout the county without access to such a service at present.

A presentation from CEO of the National Broadband Ireland (NBI) Deployment Executive, TJ Malone, to councilors at last Monday’s meeting at IT Sligo’s Knocknarea Arena outlined the measures they are going to provide broadband to areas around the country.

Mr. Malone said there are 14,809 premises in Sligo without access to high speed broadband at present, but the rollout of the NBI plan will help address the problem.

Townlands around Sligo continue to be surveyed, he told members, and it is hoped that work can begin in the middle of next year.

The core aim of the National Broadband Plan is to ensure that no one is left behind, Mr. Malone explained, and that they will try to use existing infrastructure that is in place where possible such as poles.

The project will entail 142,384 kilometers of cabling, and a number of deployment areas have been identified including Sligo, Ballina and Carrick – on – Shanno.

The plan was initially set to take place over a seven year period, but Mr. Malone revealed that NBI has been approached by government to see whether there is any possibility o bringing forward that timeline. It is currently being evaluated as to whether that is possible.

A number of Broadband Connection Points have been identified in Sligo, with BCPs set to be established in community centres in areas such as Killavil, Castleconnor, Highwoodadn Carton as well as Eastern Harps GAA club. Schools such as Corballa and Cloonloo will also be included.

Mr. Malone praised the impact of the various stakeholders that have been involved to date, including Sligo County Council, and in particular broadband officer Nigel Carter. Councilors widely welcomed the presentation form Mr. Malone, who attended alongside his colleague Billy Manley. Chief Executive Ciaran Hayes thanked both for their attendance and informed members that the council’s digital strategy, due to come before members at next month’s meeting, will build on some of the information provided in the presentation.