The National Broadband Plan claims a 22 per cent take-up rate as the former minister slams “slippage” at rollout

Twenty-two percent of homes that “passed” the National Broadband Plan have connected to the network, according to the head of the rollout company.

eter Hendrick, CEO of National Broadband Ireland (NBI), will tell a Joint Oireachtas Committee that enrollments to the network so far total 14,200 homes from the 63,652 buildings that have been ‘handed over’.

While Mr Hendrick has described uptake as better than normal, his comments come after criticism from a former communications secretary that the National Broadband Plan had “slipped again” in its goals.

“National Broadband Ireland pledged last September that they would pass 60,000 homes by the end of January this year,” the Galway-Roscommon TD said in an interview with local radio station Midlands 103. “They just passed 63,600 homes at the end of June this year. So those goals have slipped again.”

But NBI says state-backed broadband rollout worth $2.7 billion

Mr. Hendrick will report to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications that NBI’s revised downward target of 102,000 buildings by the end of January 2023 is on track to be met.

“Today we surveyed 330,000 buildings, which is 60 percent of the total intervention area [of 559,000 premises] and completed the detailed designs for 313,000 buildings,” said Mr Hendrick’s opening statement, a copy of which viewed ahead of the meeting.

“These activities, which are important precursors to the main construction, continue at pace and are now ahead of the profile. On average, we construct between 7,000 and 10,000 buildings each month with stability and predictability throughout the program.”

Mr Hendrick will also say that there are 182,000 buildings where construction has either started or has been completed. This is “the early indicator of progress and project dynamics,” he says.

At launch, NBI claims that in deployment areas where the service has been available for more than six months, adoption rates exceed 30 percent.

“This first indicator of demand for the network surpasses anything we’ve ever seen in Ireland compared to any other commercial rollout and even compared to other international projects,” Mr. Hendrick will say. “We now have about 56 retail service providers working with NBI to sell gigabit fiber products and services on the network.”

Mr. Hendrick will also say that since January, NBI has added 300 additional staff to the project, bringing the total workforce to 1,500 during the rollout process. Additional construction resources include a new builder, Gaeltec Utilities. According to Mr. Hendrick, this brings “a wealth of experience in rural construction”.

Work is also progressing on the islands, he says, with fiberglass construction activity on six islands off Mayo and Donegal. The National Broadband Plan claims a 22 per cent take-up rate as the former minister slams “slippage” at rollout

Fry Electronics Team

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