National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company rolling out the new high-speed fibre broadband network under the Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) today announced that surveying works in several areas of Louth are well underway.
NBI contractors have been on the ground across the country for thirteen months and over 186,000 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 every premises in the Intervention Area – a map of over 544,000 premises nationwide identified by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communication (DECC) – as not being served with adequate broadband speeds. The first premises have been successfully connected under the NBP in parts of Cork and Cavan.
In Louth, there are 8,344 premises in the Intervention Area (IA), which includes homes, farms, commercial businesses and schools. This equates to 13% of all premises in the county. Under the National Broadband Plan, Louth will see an investment of €33M 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 facilitate increased levels of remote working.
NBI crews have made substantial progress in Louth, where the following areas are being surveyed: Channonrock, Ballykelly, Stonetown, Ednaquinn and Lannat Cross
All NBI contractors will also carry official ID cards and essential worker letters, and have received training on adhering to all Covid 19 guidelines. They will have vehicles, PPE and signage with both their own, and NBI logos.
Broadband Connection Points (BCPs)
In advance of the fibre to the home roll out, the NBP provides for the delivery of BCPs nationwide. 123 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 rollout area.
These 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/ Primary schools in the Intervention Area are also being connected for educational access as part of the NBP. Locations of Broadband Connection Points in county Louth will include Annaghminnon Rovers GAA Club, Stephenstown, Killanny GAA Club, and Mattock Rangers GAA Club.
Progress on the ground
NBI chief executive Peter Hendrick said the company was pleased with the progress being made: “We started physical work on the ground in January 2020 and despite the challenging environment caused by Covid-19, we’ve grown and mobilised the team to have over 800 people working on the project across all 26 counties and making good progress. We are acutely aware that people want access to high-speed broadband as soon as possible, and our goal is to deliver that.
“Survey designs are an important part of mapping out how every home and business will be connected, and these will provide the blueprint for how the NBI fibre is laid. The BCPs are also a key milestone in delivering access to high-speed internet in the Intervention Area, and we’re delighted to see these being connected for access – internally and externally – right across the county.”
NBI’s website www.nbi.ie has a search tool to enable the public to check whether their premises is within the rollout area, and to show indicative dates for areas being surveyed. There is also a facility to register for updates on this. Detailed designs for the fibre area network are drawn up following these surveys. The network build has started in parts of Cavan, Cork, Galway and Limerick. NBI’s contact centre can be reached at 0818 624 624 (lo-call) or firstname.lastname@example.org
CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER
Mairead is responsible for the Design and Deployment of the network. This encompasses all network activities from Survey, Design, Eir make ready coordination and network build for both the overhead and underground network. The role involves partner and stakeholder management.
Prior to joining NBI Mairead was the MD of Openreach in Northern Ireland where she led an end to end business responsible for all activities including the Design, Deployment and in life provision and repair activities in Northern Ireland. Mairead spearheaded the Openreach Northern Ireland teams commercial investment in Fibre Broadband and during her time moved Northern Ireland from lagging behind in broadband coverage to being the leading fibre to the premise region across the UK and Ireland with over 70% coverage. Mairead held various roles within BT across the UK and Ireland across Networks, IT and Customer Solutions leading teams of 1000 plus people across diverse geographies and skillsets.
Mairead has played a very active role in Northern Ireland in STEM activities in Northern Ireland promoting apprenticeships and encouraging females into STEM careers. Mairead sat on the board of Business in the Community in Northern Ireland for the last 5 years. She is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Mairead holds a 1st class Masters in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queen’s University, Belfast as well as a postgraduate Diploma in Business Improvement from the University of Jordanstown. Mairead is a certified Prince 2 practitioner.