30. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has satisfied himself that the broadband task force recently established by his Department will sufficiently identify gaps in the provision of rural broadband, particularly in areas in which only a small number of homes have not been connected by private providers; and the envisaged timeframe for identifying those anomalies and successfully providing high speed broadband to all of those homes. (Question 41855/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos 30, 33, 48 and 65 together.
Recognising the frustration experienced across Ireland where telecommunications networks are not always delivering the services people expect, I specifically included in the Programme for Government a commitment to a Mobile Phone and Broadband Task force.
I established the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce (the ‘Taskforce’) in July 2016, arising from...

33. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of times he has met with the mobile broadband taskforce since June 2017. (Question 41961/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos 30, 33, 48 and 65 together.
Recognising the frustration experienced across Ireland where telecommunications networks are not always delivering the services people expect, I specifically included in the Programme for Government a commitment to a Mobile Phone and Broadband Task force.
I established the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce (the ‘Taskforce’) in July 2016, arising from...

48. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the terms of reference for the broadband task force recently established by his department; if there will be a published report; and the timeframe for such a report. (Question 41854/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos 30, 33, 48 and 65 together.
Recognising the frustration experienced across Ireland where telecommunications networks are not always delivering the services people expect, I specifically included in the Programme for Government a commitment to a Mobile Phone and Broadband Task force.
I established the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce (the ‘Taskforce’) in July 2016, arising from...

49. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress to date on the rural broadband scheme with particular reference to offshore islands, the populations of which rely heavily on suitable connectivity for future sustainability. (Question 41882/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed broadband services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland including those on our offshore islands. The Programme for Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority.  This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment by the telecommunications sector and a State intervention in those are...

65. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position regarding the work of the mobile phone and broadband taskforce since the publication of their report in December 2016; the progress which has been made in the implementation of their recommendations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41889/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): I propose to take Questions Nos 30, 33, 48 and 65 together.
Recognising the frustration experienced across Ireland where telecommunications networks are not always delivering the services people expect, I specifically included in the Programme for Government a commitment to a Mobile Phone and Broadband Task force.
I established the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce (the ‘Taskforce’) in July 2016, arising from...

749. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the roll-out of high speed broadband under the rural broadband scheme will include a village (details supplied) in County Mayo; the timeframe for the upgrading of broadband lines in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11449/17 asked on 07 Mar 2017 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed broadband services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland. The Programme for Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority. This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment by the telecommunications sector and a State Intervention in those areas where commercial investment has not ...

761. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to upgrade the broadband telecommunications infrastructure in an area (details supplied); if the requests of local residents and local business to have an adequate and modern broadband service provided in that area without further delay will be given consideration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12033/17 asked on 07 Mar 2017 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed broadband services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland. The Programme for Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority. This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment by the telecommunications sector and a State Intervention in those areas where commercial investment has not ...

567. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of the rural broadband scheme in Foxford, County Mayo. (Question 2871/17 asked on 24 Jan 2017 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed broadband services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland. The Programme for Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority.  This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment by the telecommunications sector and a State intervention in those areas where commercial investment has not ...

418. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when he will provide a broadband service in Cloughduv, County Cork, and the surrounding areas. (Question 32858/16 asked on 02 Nov 2016 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland. The Programme for Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority.  This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment by the telecommunications sector and a State intervention in those areas where commercial investment has not been fully...

43. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the extent to which it is anticipated progress can be made towards providing and extending modern technology, such as broadband, mobile telephony and other sought-after services in rural and urban areas, with a view to ensuring the availability of the highest quality of such services at all locations throughout the country, thereby enhancing the quality of life for the residents therein and the attractiveness for job-creating investment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31140/16 asked on 20 Oct 2016 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): The Programme for a Partnership Government has committed to the delivery of next generation broadband to every household and business in the country through the National Broadband Plan. The Plan comes under the remit of the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D. However, as Minster with responsibility for the revitalisation of rural Ireland, I intend to ensur...

377. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the progress made by the local and regional broadband taskforces and rural digital strategies she advised would be established to aid and accelerate the broadband network build in rural Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30406/16 asked on 18 Oct 2016 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): In September, I established two Regional Broadband Action Groups to help support the roll out of rural broadband from next year. The Broadband Action Groups comprise officials from my Department, the Local Government Management Agency and nominated staff from each Local Authority. Both Groups met for the first time in the middle of September and will meet bimonthly for the foreseeable future.
The key...

36. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the responsibilities that are to transfer to her Department in respect of rural broadband; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13278/16 asked on 01 Jun 2016 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Deputy Heather Humphreys: Delivering the national broadband plan is a top priority for the Government, as reflected in the programme for a partnership Government. The allocation of new responsibilities at Cabinet level signals the Government’s firm intention to address broadband and other telecoms challenges in rural Ireland. To this end, I will be working closely with the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to deliver key elements of the national broadband plan and to ac...

1102. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he has modified his plans for the roll-out of rural broadband, given the plan by Eir to provide high-speed broadband to many houses in the area identified by his Department as part of the national high-speed broadband roll-out; if he will prioritise his roll-out of high-speed broadband to those areas which are least likely to ever get a commercial service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10252/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Denis Naughten): The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland. The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority.
It is expected that 70% of all premises in Ireland will receive high speed services from the commercial telecommunications market. The remaining 30% (over 750,000 premises) are ...

823. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources when the rural broadband scheme will be available in north County Louth and in the Faughart and Hackballscross areas in particular; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7015/16 asked on 14 Apr 2016 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to ensure that every citizen and business, regardless of location, has access to a high quality, high speed broadband service. This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investments and a State led intervention in areas where commercial services will not be provided. The commercial telecommunications sector has invested over €2 billion in network upg...

172. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the progress made since the rural broadband scheme was introduced and when 3 mobile received the contract; if the promise of 30 Mb speeds for all houses by 2018 is on track, how was the contract framed with 3 mobile to allow it to charge a premium of more than 3,000%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45513/15 asked on 16 Dec 2015 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): I refer the Deputy to my response to Question No. 597 of 15 December 2015. 
 The National Broadband Scheme (NBS) expired on 25 August 2014, in line with State aid clearance for the Scheme. Subsequent to its expiry, the specified NBS broadband service is no longer being provided by “3” in its capacity as the NBS service provider. 
I have no role in relation to the provision of retail services by “3” in its commercial c...

597. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the progress of the rural broadband scheme since its introduction when a company (details supplied) was awarded the contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44730/15 asked on 15 Dec 2015 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): Ireland’s telecommunications market has been liberalised since 1999 and has developed into a well-regulated market, supporting a multiplicity of commercial operators providing services over a diverse range of technology platforms. The State is not a service provider and can only intervene, subject to EU competition rules, to ensure access to broadband services in areas where the competitive market has failed to delive...

227. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources further to the recent announcement in relation to the rural broadband scheme, his plans for broadband for the Hackballscross area in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22883/15 asked on 11 Jun 2015 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): The National Broadband Plan aims to ensure that every citizen and business, regardless of location, has access to a high quality, high speed broadband service. This will be achieved through a combination of commercial investments and a State led intervention in areas where commercial services will not be provided.
The commercial telecommunications sector is currently investing approximately €2.5 billion in network up...

18. Deputy Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if the €500 million promised in April 2014 for rural broadband will be forthcoming. (Question 40390/14 asked on 23 Oct 2014 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): The National Broadband Plan contains very clear commitments from Government to invest in areas of the country where high speed broadband services are not, or will not, be made available through commercial investment. We are close to finalising the comprehensive national mapping exercise which will culminate shortly in the publication of a national coverage map. This will enable all users, both business and domestic...

14. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his plans for the roll out of rural broadband; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31295/14 asked on 17 Jul 2014 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): The Government’s Statement of Priorities for the period 2014 to 2016 reaffirms our commitment to delivering a State-led broadband intervention in rural areas. The Government’s National Broadband Plan aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed broadband is available to all citizens and businesses. This is being achieved through measures designed to accelerate commercial inve...

435. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources when the Government will proceed to invest up to €512 million in the rural fibre broadband network scheme that was announced last April; and the timeframe in which this scheme will be rolled out in Drumkeerin, County Leitrim. (Question 30965/14 asked on 15 Jul 2014 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White): The Government’s National Broadband Plan, which was published in August 2012, aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed broadband is available to all citizens and businesses. This will be achieved by providing a policy and regulatory framework that assists in accelerating and incentivising commercial investment; and a State-led intervention for areas where it is not commer...

488. Deputy Noel Coonan asked the Minister for Communications; Energy and Natural Resources when an area (details supplied) in County Tipperary will be considered for inclusion on the rural broadband strategy announced on 25 April 2014 as it is not currently listed for inclusion; when it is envisioned that the area will be included for high speed broadband; the reason the area did not feature on the list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22121/14 asked on 27 May 2014 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): I propose to take Questions Nos. 488 and 492 together.
The Government’s National Broadband Plan, which I published in August 2012, aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed broadband is available to all citizens and businesses. This will be achieved by providing:
- a policy and regulatory framework that assists in accelerating and incentivising commercial investment, and...

492. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Communications; Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide a timescale for when proper broadband will be introduced to a location (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22206/14 asked on 27 May 2014 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): I propose to take Questions Nos. 488 and 492 together.
The Government’s National Broadband Plan, which I published in August 2012, aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed broadband is available to all citizens and businesses. This will be achieved by providing:
- a policy and regulatory framework that assists in accelerating and incentivising commercial investment, and...

475. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources further to Parliamentary Question No 146 of 29 November 2012, in relation to the rural broadband scheme, the actions taken to secure broadband services for the then remaining six applicants to the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4257/14 asked on 28 Jan 2014 - Rural Broadband Scheme)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): The Rural Broadband Scheme, RBS, was launched in recognition of the fact that despite the widespread availability of broadband throughout Ireland, there still remained individual premises that were unable to receive broadband provision. This Scheme was aimed at making a basic broadband service available to un-served premises in rural areas, not already covered by the National Broadband Scheme.
The Application Phase...

354. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the position regarding the rural broadband scheme; the number of applicants who received broadband from a service provider prior to departmental procurement; the number provided with a service and location following departmental procurement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41872/13 asked on 08 Oct 2013 - Rural Broadband Scheme Issues)

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): The Rural Broadband Scheme (RBS) was launched in recognition of the fact that despite the widespread availability of broadband throughout Ireland, there still remained individual premises that were unable to receive broadband provision. This Scheme was aimed at making a basic broadband service available to un-served premises in rural areas, not already covered by the National Broadband Scheme.
The Application Phase ...

240. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 21 of 8 May 2013, the reason there was no reported spend under the broadband element of the rural development programme 2007-2013; if it is intended to spend this money in the next two years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23294/13 asked on 15 May 2013 - Rural Broadband Scheme Issues)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Rural Broadband Scheme (RBS) was launched in 2011 in recognition of the fact that despite the widespread availability of broadband throughout Ireland, there still remained individual premises that were unable to receive a service. This Scheme was aimed at making a basic broadband service available to un-served premises in rural areas, not already covered by the National Broadband Scheme. An amount of €13,413,000 EAFRD fund...