Up to 300 high-speed internet hubs to be deployed by end of year

Project is being rolled out in advance of National Broadband Plan

National Broadband Ireland, the company rolling out the project, said it will have half the proposed 300 “broadband connection points”, where the public can get free high-speed internet access, deployed by the end of this year

Up to 300 high-speed internet hubs envisaged under the National Broadband Plan (NBP) will be deployed within the next three to nine months.

National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company rolling out the project, said it will havr the proposed 300 "broadband connection points", where the public can get free high-speed internet access, deployed by the end of this year.

The hubs are intended as a stop-gap for communities with the worst broadband coverage before the rollout of a full-fibre network, which will connect individual households and businesses.

NBI said up to 10,000 homes will be passed by the network by the end of 2020, while it will have “detailed design plans” for additional 108,000, equating to 20 per cent of 540,000 households covered by the project.



“Operating at scale across the country, NBI will be building in 11 separate areas by end 2020, and in every county nationwide next year,” a spokeswoman said.

One of the first areas to get new superfast connections will be Carrigaline in Co Cork. The NBI said it has completed the first deployment area of surveying around Carrigaline while surveying is underway in Galway in areas such as Barna and Clarinbridge, and in Co Cavan around areas such as Belturbet and Killashandra. This will be followed by the outskirts of Limerick City, and then in parts of Wexford and Mullingar, it said.

This work involves inspecting poles and ducts - and mapping out what construction is required for network route design - for the installation of the fibre infrastructure, the spokeswoman said.

The scheme, which could cost the taxpayer as much as €3 billion in subsidies, is expected to take up to seven years to complete, although the majority of homes will be “passed” or have access to the new network within the first three years.

Of these, 130,000 connections will be made in the first two years with between 70,000 and 100,000 properties getting access per year thereafter.

The final 5 per cent of premises, which are located in the most remote areas, will get a wireless connection initially.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times