Broadband access in Kilkenny
Local TD and Minister of State John Paul Phelan has moved to reassure the public that the Government's National Broadband Plan is still on track, with the procurement process now in its final stages.
Three companies - Eir, SIRO and enet - had been shortlisted for the final phase of the tender process. However, earlier this week, SIRO withdrew from the process. The other two bidders have now submitted their plans to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
“This is a significant and positive milestone in the procurement process which will put every place name on the digital map. It will give every parish in Kilkenny, no matter how remote, the means to be the hub of a living community,” said Deputy Phelan.
“In parallel with the broadband plan commercial operators are spending €1.8 million per day on their networks. People in towns and villages across rural Ireland are getting connected and getting access to high speed broadband every minute of every working day through massive investment from commercial operators.
"They would not be investing and connecting people at the rate they are were it not for the State’s National Broadband Plan."
This update comes the same month that Deputy Phelan's own parliamentary assistant, Pat Dunphy, who is a local Fine Gael councillor, described the broadband rollout as 'a disaster'.
"The National Broadband Plan is not getting going at all," he told Kilkenny's broadband officer at the September meeting of the Piltown Municipal District.
Deputy Phelan has said that close to seven out of 10 premises now have access to high speed broadband, and within a year that will rise to nearly eight out of ten premises. Minister Phelan vowed that by 2020, 90% of premises the length and breadth of the country will have access to high speed broadband.