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 Westmeath are well underway.
NBI contractors have been on the ground across the country for seventeen months and over 239,000 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. These vital survey works enable “Fibre-to-the-Home” network designs to be completed for each of the 544,000 plus premises in the Intervention Area, as identified by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communication (DECC).
In Westmeath, there are 11,721 premises in the Intervention Area (IA), which includes homes, farms, commercial businesses, and schools. This equates to 26% of all premises in the county. Under the National Broadband Plan, Westmeath will see an investment of €46M 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 Westmeath, the following areas are being surveyed: Castletown, Hilltown, Ballynameagh, Ballynagall, Rochestown, Lismacaffrey, Coole, Coolnagun, Street, Mayne, Newtown, Fearmore, Boherquill, Williamstown, Castlepollard, Multyfarnham, Rathowen, Glonlough, Ballinalack, Carrigagh, Kilbixy, Cumminstown
These initial works pave the way for the next stage of deploying fibre on poles/ducts and includes the erection of poles, unblocking of ducts, and the insertion of sub duct into existing ducts, for the fibre to be installed.
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 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) nationwide. 203 of these sites are now ‘live’ and have both internal and external broadband access. These facilities – which include sports clubs, community centres and tourist sites – will provide free public access to high-speed internet in the rollout area.
These BCPs 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/. An example of some of the locations of Broadband Connection Points in county Westmeath that are connected are Whitehall Community Centre, Milltown Emper Community Centre, Clonkill Hurling Club, and Ballycomoyle GAA Club. Primary schools in the Intervention Area are also being connected for educational access as part of the NBP.
Progress on the ground
NBI Chief Executive Peter Hendrick said: “Our teams on the ground have made substantial progress since we first commenced with surveying and design works last year. As the country re-opens and restrictions are lifted, we are confident that this will further assist us as we continue to deliver the new high speed broadband network under the National Broadband Plan. We are acutely aware that people want access to high-speed broadband and our goal is to deliver that as quickly as possible.”
“Survey and designs are an important part of mapping out how every home, farm and business will be connected, and they 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. NBI’s contact centre can be reached at 0818 624 624 (lo-call) or firstname.lastname@example.org