About the National Broadband Plan

About the National Broadband Plan

A Government wide initiative to deliver high speed broadband services to all businesses and households in Ireland

The Department of Communications Climate Action & Environment published the National Broadband Plan (NBP) in August 2012. This is a Government wide initiative to deliver high speed broadband services to all businesses and households in Ireland. The NBP defines high speed broadband as a minimum speed of 30Mbps download and 6Mbps upload. This is being achieved through a combination of:

  • Commercial investment by the telecommunications sector and
  • A State Intervention in those areas where commercial providers acting alone will not provide this essential service

To enable you to find out how your premises will be connected to high speed internet the Government has created the High speed Broadband Map with Dark Blue, Light blue and Amber areas. These areas identify where commercial investment is taking place and where the intervention areas are located for future state supported connections.

Commercial Investment

The NBP has acted as a catalyst to commercial investment by the telecommunications sector.

Since the publication of the NBP in 2012, the commercial telecommunications sector has invested over €2.5bn. This was spent on upgrading and modernising networks which support the provision of high speed broadband and mobile telecommunications services.

Today approximately 1.4m or 61% of premises in Ireland can access commercially available high speed broadband services. Significant additional investment is expected over the next 2 years.

The BLUE areas in the High Speed Broadband Map cover about 1.5 m premises.  These are areas where commercial operators have rolled out a high speed broadband network or have previously committed to delivering high speed broadband.  So far, approximately 1.4m premises in the BLUE areas can get high speed broadband of a minimum of 30 Megabits per second.

The LIGHT BLUE areas represent areas where a commercial operator (open eir) has delivered High Speed Broadband access to 330,000 rural premises. This commitment is on a fully commercial basis.  The Commitment Agreement is available here. This brings the total number of premises in the BLUE area to 1.8m.  

Intervention Strategy

National Broadband Ireland (the Granahan McCourt Company delivering the plan) will supply broadband to the one quarter of Irish people and premises which currently cannot access high-speed broadband through commercial services. It guarantees a level playing field for 1.1 million people, 540,000 premises including 100,000 businesses and farms, and over 600 schools, where commercial operators will not commit to deliver high speed broadband. 

Those 1.1 million people in rural Ireland will get the same opportunities as urban Ireland and will be able to avail of the range of new opportunities that high speed broadband has and will deliver. Without it, they won't have guaranteed access to these opportunities. It opens up:

  • Flexible and remote working
  • Smart health with online GP and nursing services and medical monitoring
  • Cloud based services and connected devices
  • Smart farming opportunities
  • Digital learning
  • Reliable electronic payments and bookings

€80 million will be invested in the non-commercial "The Intervention Area" in Meath which includes 20,256 premises who do not have access to High Speed Internet Access.

The Intervention Area is identified as AMBER on the High Speed Broadband Map

You can use the Map to see if you will be covered by commercial operators or are in an area of the country that the State intervention will address.

The approved plan will provide fibre to 98% of all premises with speeds starting from 150mb/s, rising to 500mb/s in year ten for residential users and much higher speeds available for business.

The rollout will commence in Q1 2020 with significant pre-mobilisation activities on going over the next number of months. While the majority of premises will be passed in the initial 5 years the overall rollout will be concluded within 7 years. Further details on the Government Intervention can be found on the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment’s website and other relevant documents are on the Gov.ie National Broadband Plan Publications page.

A number of Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are planned which will act as hotspots providing free Wi-Fi in local communities supporting digital work hubs in every county. These locations located are located in the Intervention Area and do not have access to commercial broadband providers.

The BCPs will provide access to public Wi-Fi at up to 12 locations around Co. Meath. Some locations will provide outdoor Wi-Fi access only, others locations where facilities enable be able to develop community hubs. These locations will be able to accommodate remote working, afterschool/student access, digital skills training and digital community activities. Full details on these locations and services will be available when they are connected.

Community facilities in other locations can be supported by the existing community funding supports to develop their own high speed internet facilities subject to meeting eligibility requirements and availability of funding..

National Broadband Plan information leaflets

The Department now has three new National Broadband Plan information leaflets available below or in hard copy:

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