Broadband universal by 2012, says Ryan

 

EVERY PROPERTY in the State will be able to avail of internet broadband by 2012, Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan has said.

Announcing the completion of the National Broadband Scheme at Government Buildings yesterday, Mr Ryan said that it meant coverage had now increased from 85 to 99 per cent of properties.

The remaining 1 per cent, or 12,000 properties, would be covered by a soon to be announced rural broadband scheme, which would be completed in 2012.

The national scheme was delivered by communications group 3 Ireland and cost €220 million. It has made broadband available to 235,000 homes in 1,028 areas across rural Ireland.

3 Ireland has a contract to provide the service until 2014.

Some €44 million of funding for the project was provided by the exchequer and €36 million came from the European Union Regional Development Fund 2007-2013, with 3 Ireland providing the remainder.

A connection with a minimum download speed of 1.6MBits/sec and maximum of 14.4MBits/sec has been made available under the scheme. 3 Ireland said speeds of up to 40 MBits/sec would be available by the end of 2011.

Mr Ryan said the information and communications technology sector in Ireland grew by 6 per cent last year. He was hopeful that level of growth could be doubled and the 75,000 jobs in the sector would be added to.

A recent OECD survey found Ireland had 20.3 fixed-line broadband connections per 100 inhabitants at the end of June, down from 21.3 in June 2009.