National Broadband Plan surveying underway in 12 rural Laois areas

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

National Broadband Plan surveying underway in 12 rural Laois areas

National Broadband Plan surveying underway in 12 rural Laois areas

Work to bring fast internet access to broadband blackspots in rural Laois is continuing, the National Broadband Ireland company has stated this week.

Some €49 million will be spent creating the new high-speed fibre broadband network in Laois alone, as part of National Broadband Ireland's contract to roll it out nationwide under the Government’s National Broadband Plan

It announced this week that surveying works in several areas of Laois are well underway.

"In Laois, there are 12,510 premises in the Intervention Area (IA), which includes homes, farms, commercial businesses and schools. This equates to 31% of all premises in the county. The following areas in Laois are being surveyed: Ballylinan, Lackeragh, Castlewood, Killeen, Glosna, Wolfhill, Knocklaide, Luggacurren, Ballintubbert, Knockbawn, Stradbally, and Vicarstown."

The company has advised the public on how to recognise genuine NBI contractors.

"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.

"NBI contractors have been on the ground across the country for eight months and over 150,000 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.

"Under the National Broadband Plan, Laois will see an investment of €49M 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.

While the public waits for connections to homes, the company is installing centralised Broadband Connection Points (BCPs).

"Over 60 of these sites are now ‘live’ nationwide 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. Primary schools in the Intervention Area are also being connected for educational access as part of the NBP.

"Locations in Laois will include Vicarstown Community Centre, Emo Community Centre, Oisin House in Rossmore, and Bilboa Post Office.

"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," NBI said.

Full list at /bcp-map/ 

The NBI chief executive is Peter Hendrick.

“We started physical work on the ground last January and I am delighted to report that this is going very well. 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 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," he said. 

NBI’s website www.nbi.ie has a search tool so the public can check if and when their premises will be surveyed.

The company says the public can also register for updates. 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, and some connections are expected by the end of this year. NBI’s contact centre can be reached at 0818 624 624 (lo-call) or contactus@nbi.ie