National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company rolling out the new high-speed fibre broadband network under the Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP), has confirmed that surveying is underway in 12 rural Laois areas.
Ballylinan, Lackeragh, Castlewood, Killeen, Glosna, Wolfhill, Knocklaide, Luggacurren, Ballintubbert, Knockbawn, Stradbally, and Vicarstown are currently being surveyed.
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.
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. 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.
In advance of the fibre to the home roll out, the NBP provides for the delivery of Broadband Connection Points (BCPs).
Over 60 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.
A full list can be found 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 Laois will include Vicarstown Community Centre, Emo Community Centre, Oisin House in Rossmore, and Bilboa Post Office.
NBI chief executive Peter Hendrick said the company was pleased with the progress being made: “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.”