17 Aug 2022

Wireless broadband services must be extended to rural homes pending completion of broadband plan says Independent TD

Independent TD, Denis Naughten has called on the Government to work with existing wireless broadband providers to utilise the equipment that will be taken out of some 30,000 homes over the coming year as they connect to the new fibre cable delivered by National Broadband Ireland.

“As National Broadband Ireland delivers fibre broadband to rural homes, families will come off their existing wireless services and this now provides an opportunity to improve the quality of wireless broadband services to families who are further down the list of the deployment areas, by reusing this equipment” said Deputy Naughten.

“But to allow this to happen Councils and State agencies need to provide sites to these wireless operators so that they can install transmitters to distribute the wireless broadband service. Because these extensions to the wireless service will have a short lifespan, up until the end of 2027 when it is now likely that the National Broadband Plan will be completed, these sites should be provided rent free by the Councils and State agencies”.

Deputy Naughten said it is likely that National Broadband Ireland is likely to see "slippage" with its final delivery date expected to be pushed back to 2027. However, he noted that a positive outcome has been the high rate of signup occurring for families during the first six months of availability in their area.

“This rapid sign up for a fibre connection provides an opportunity for the reuse of existing wireless equipment and Government now needs to engage with wireless operators to make this happen," he said.

“I have already raised the potential for the redeployment of this equipment with the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD and I now hope that a proactive approach is taken by Government to help those families still waiting for a broadband service."

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