Rural Broadband

Rural broadband: process continues towards full roll-out

Update on the rollout of rural broadband in Meath

eir withdrawal won’t affect rural broadband rollout

Like many of you, I was concerned to hear about the withdrawal of eir from the process to appoint a provider of broadband to rural Ireland. A large proportion of people in Co. Meath live in rural communities, so this is a very important matter for us.

The good news is that this does not affect the rollout timeframe of broadband for Co. Meath. Now there is just one consortium left in the procurement process, so actually that may speed things up.

Any State procurement process is designed to find the most suitable supplier for the needs of our society. It starts with several competitors, and then selects one. That is what is happening.

Separately, eir is rolling out high speed broadband, predominantly fibre to the home (FTTH), to over 300,000 premises in rural Ireland. That is a binding agreement and eir is committed to this rollout. It is not affected by today’s announcement.

When this Government took office, about 50% of premises had high speed broadband. That figure is now 71%, and by the end of this year 77% of premises will have high speed access. We are delivering high speed access to 300 farms every week.

If you have concerns about this, please drop me a line at regina.doherty@oireachtas.ie