Limerick is one of the first counties in Ireland to be connected under the Government’s plan for high speed broadband, Fine Gael TD, Kieran O’Donnell, has said.
Deputy O’Donnell said: “Homes and businesses in Limerick are soon to be among the first in Ireland to be connected under the Government’s National Broadband Plan.
“This is great progress and is so important for the economic and social development of Limerick as part of Fine Gael’s vision for balanced regional development across the county.
“Rural broadband is so essential to this vision. It will allow enterprise to flourish in counties like Limerick and ensure people have increased options to live and work here.
“This why in the last Government, Fine Gael began the largest and most significant investment ever in rural Ireland through our National Broadband Plan. Broadband is coming to every town, village and community across the country and I am delighted Limerick is to be one of the first counties connected.
Deputy O’Donnell continued: “Not one of the other political parties supported Fine Gael’s broadband plan and they sought to block it at every turn. There are remote and rural areas across Limerick where commercial providers will not invest. If Fine Gael didn’t persist with this plan, too many people and businesses in Limerick would have been left behind by the opposition.
“Since the pandemic, the parties that opposed Fine Gael’s Broadband Plan are belatedly coming around to the importance of remote working.
“Fine Gael’s vision for The National Broadband Plan (NBP) was for it to enable new ways of working and exploit the huge benefits that remote working offers to employers, employees and society more generally. This was a crucial part of our strategy to ensure balanced regional development across Ireland, long before the pandemic. But COVID-19 has shown us the demand for this is growing.
“The pandemic has changed the way in which we live, work and interact with each other. Covid has shown us that location is not as important anymore, connectivity is what counts.”
“Over 4,000 premises have been surveyed to date with network designs completed to deliver the new Fibre to Home Network in Limerick.
Crews have started the initial works for the build in the townlands outside Limerick City including Mungret, Patrickswell, Crecora, Castleconnell and Caherconlish.
As part of the work to connect homes and businesses to high speed broadband, surveying is underway or completed in Killalee, Caherline, Ballynanty, Pallaskenny, Toreen, Old Kildimo, Askeaton, Adare, Croagh, Rathkeale, Kilfinny, Croom, Ballingarry, Patrickswell, Crecora, Banogue Cross, Granagh, Lees Cross, Ballykennedy.
In Limerick there are 21,231 premises in the ‘Rollout Area’, which includes homes, farms, commercial businesses and schools which equates to 22% of all the included premises in the country.
Under the National Broadband Plan, Limerick will see an investment of €86M in the new high speed fibre network.
The Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) initiative will see publicly accessible sites in rural and isolated parts of Limerick provided with a temporary high-speed broadband connection by National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company contracted to deliver the NBP.
Deputy O’Donnell concluded: “Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, it is great to see the installation of high speed broadband already underway in Limerick and surveying works also underway nationwide over the winter months. While Covid-19 might have delayed us, it will not stop us and Fine Gael is determined that 1.1m people in 544,000 homes, 695 schools, 54,000 farms and 44,000 business in the country will be online under the NBP so that no part of the country is left behind.”