Source: The Carlow Nationalist
By: Suzanne Pender

The long wait for decent broadband may soon be over with the positive news that areas of south Co Carlow are currently being surveyed for the National Broadband Plan (NEP). National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company working to deliver the government’s NBP, which will address the country’s digital divide, this week announced that surveying works in Carlow are progressing.

In Carlow, there are 8,158 premises in the ‘intervention area’, which includes homes, farms, commercial businesses and schools. This equates to 29% of all premises in the county.

Under the National Broadband Plan, Carlow will see an investment of €32 million 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.

In Carlow, the following areas are being surveyed: Muinebheag, Ballinkillen, Garryhill, Knockdrumagh, Drumphea, Coshill, Borris, Ballyphenan, Ballymurphy, Tinnecarrig, Goolin, Ballyling, Glynn, St Mullins, Hallybrook, Myshall, Lismaconly and Cappawater.

All NBI contractors will also carry official ID cards and essential worker letters. They have also received training on adhering to all Cavid-19 guidelines. They will have vehicles, PPE and signage with both their own and NBI logos.

NBI contractors have been on the ground for eight months and more than 120,000 premises nationwide have been surveyed to date. This involves physically walking the routes and documenting images, notes and measurements of the poles, cables and underground ducts in each area.

This will enable network design solutions for the provision of a fibre network to all premises in the intervention area — a map of 544,000 premises nationwide identified by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communication —that are not being served with adequate broadband speeds. Phase one of the National Broadband Plan sees the delivery of broadband connection points nationwide. More than 60 of these sites are now ‘live’ and have both internal and external broadband access.

These facilities — which include GAA clubs, community centres and tourist sites — will provide free public access to high-speed internet in the roll-out area. Up to 300 of these will be available within the next six months. In Carlow, some broadband connection points include Rathanna Community Hall, Borris Library and Duckett’s Grove.

A full list can be found at . Primary schools are also being connected for educational access as part of the National Broadband Plan and the first among these in Carlow will be St Laserian’s School and Our Lady’s NS in Nurney.

National Broadband Ireland’s website has a search tool to enable the public to check whether their premises is within the roll-out area and to show indicative dates for areas being surveyed. There is also a facility to register for updates on this. NBI’s contact centre can be reached at 0818 624624 (lo-call) or