Industry & Business

NBI Signs Historic Contract to Deliver National Broadband Plan

NBI Signs Historic Contract to Deliver National Broadband Plan

NBI Signs Historic Contract to Deliver National Broadband Plan
November 20
10:18 2019

National Broadband Ireland (NBI) has signed a landmark Public Private Partnership with the Irish Government to deliver the National Broadband Plan (NBP) across the country. The project is one of the most ambitious of its kind globally and will end the digital divide between urban and rural communities. It will provide equal opportunity for 100% of the population ensuring every household and business has access to high-speed broadband, with no-one left behind.

Work to commence within eight weeks

NBI is proud to be delivering such a large key national infrastructure project – that will benefit over one million people – and looks forward to commencing the network roll-out plan within eight weeks. Surveying and design teams will start work in early January in the first deployment locations. These include Carrigaline in county Cork, parts of Connemara in west Galway, and several towns in the counties of Kilkenny and Limerick.

Job creation

Around 650 people will be employed directly and indirectly over the first 12 months of the NBP, and 90% of these will be employed locally in each of the deployment areas. NBI’s key partners and subcontractors – which includes the KN Group, Kelly Group, Actavo, 4Site and Nokia – will provide many of these positions, with boots hitting the ground in January. The current NBI team of over 60 will grow to approximately 225 over the first 20 months of the NBP contract.

Broadband Connection Points in every county

In tandem with NBI’s deployment to every house and business in the Intervention Area, approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points – where the public can access free high speed internet access – will be connected across the 26 counties. The first of these will be delivered in Q2 2020, and all will be connected by the end of next year. These will provide public access at hubs such as libraries, community centres, schools and local GAA facilities.

New NBI website for roll-out area

A new website has also been launched where the locations of these BCPs can be identified, and the public can register their interest for NBP updates. Once NBI has integrated the final roll-out area map – of  537,000 premises across 96% of Ireland’s land mass – into its network design, it will be possible to check with an Eircode if a premise is in the rollout area, with an indicative date of when it will be passed with fibre.

NBI look forward to continuing to work closely with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) and to meeting quarterly milestones as set out in the contract.

NBI chairman and telecoms entrepreneur David McCourt (pictured left) said: “The National Broadband Plan is a momentous infrastructure project to empower rural Ireland, which – until now – has remained significantly underserved by high speed connectivity. We want to see residents and businesses thriving in rural parts of the country, and ensure they have a bright and sustainable future, with the same opportunities as those in urban areas. It’s our mission to put an end to the digital divide nationwide.

“This critical infrastructure will rejuvenate rural communities by creating jobs, driving advancements in education, healthcare and business, and giving every person in rural Ireland the opportunity to live and work, where they are from. It’s a project that puts Ireland on the world stage and will enable the country to continue to punch above its weight as a leading global economy.”

NBI chief executive officer Peter Hendrick (pictured right) said it was a proud day for the company: “Our experienced team with the best and brightest minds in telecoms from Ireland and around the world, has spent almost four years working on all the NBP requirements, delivering detailed network design and build plans. We can’t wait to get out on the ground, delivering this essential utility across large tranches of Ireland that currently have no access to reliable high speed broadband. It will be a game-changer.”


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