Monday 19 March 2018

Q&A: Who's in line for this new broadband rollout and how will it work?

* What does a 'rural fibre broadband network' mean?

It's a state-subsidised fibre broadband service that is being built to reach parts of rural Ireland that no commercial broadband provider will service. The Government says that means 900,000 "premises" (homes and businesses).

* Is this the same as Eircom's eFibre network or the new ESB fibre broadband network?

No. It's aimed at communities that are too remote to get Eircom eFibre or UPC or ESB fibre.

* Will it reach my village?

So far, the Government's "mapping exercise" has identified almost 1,100 unserviced villages and small towns that will get connected.

* What if my village isn't on the list of 1,000 identified?

The list is not yet final, so it is still possible to have your village considered.

* Will it reach every single home in the country?

No. The commitment is to get fibre to all rural towns and villages. But if your house is three miles outside a village, you will still probably require some other method to connect to the main network.

* How much will it cost to subscribe to?

For a 30Mbs service, you should expect to pay no more than €30 per month.

* Is there a solid promise on broadband speeds?

No. Having originally promised a 30Mbs minimum speed, the Government is now much more wary of giving an exact speed to be delivered.

* When will I get it?

The Government says it will start building it next year. That probably means that the earliest we'll see the service in action is sometime in 2016.

* Is this taxpayer-funded?

Yes. The Government says it will spend between €355m and €512m on it, while broadband companies are expected to foot the rest of the estimated €1bn bill, in exchange for getting a raft of new broadband customers.

Irish Independent

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