Cavan among first for fibre roll-out

PROGRESS First connections before year end

Cavan and Cork are to be the first counties where effective, fast, fibre-speed broadband will be rolled out to under the National Broadband Ireland.

The first connections are to take place before the end of the year, it has been confirmed, after detailed survey work, such as assessing Eir poles, ESB poles or other systems to carry the network, is concluded.

Almost 4,000 premises have been surveyed in Cavan to date, destined now to have minimum download speeds for those connected to the NBI network of 500mbps.

NBI crews have started initial works for the network build in Cavan, Cork, Galway, and Limerick, with the first fibre-to-the-home connection expected around December 2020.

It forms part also a network of 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs), a key element of the Government’s National Broadband Plan.

BCPs will be located in some of the most rural and isolated areas in the country.

The areas in Cavan to be connected to the BCP network include community centres in Glangevlin, Killinkere, Castlerahan, Mullahoran, Cornafean, Drumavaddy, Templeport, Bunnoe, and Castle Saunderson Scout Centre.

In Monaghan, up to eight BCPs will be available to the public.

They include points to be installed at Latton Resource Centre, Ballybay Wetlands, Mullyash Community Centre, Geraldines GAA Club, Tullycorbet Parish Hall, Corduff Gaels GFC, Tannagh Outdoor Education Centre, Corcaghan Community Centre, Carn Resource Centre and Saint Alphonsus Community Hall.

Once this equipment is installed, Vodafone Ireland will install Wi-Fi access points and other customer premises equipment.

Up to October 23, one BCP has been installed in Cavan, and three in Monaghan.

One is installed in Leitrim, two in Longford, and five in Meath up to that period.

In the Dáil last week, Minister for Communications, Eamon Ryan, explained that Covid has caused delays and created some difficulties in the roll-out.

“There were difficulties in one of the key contractors coming in from the UK, with the restrictions in place on travel, but that has, by and large, been caught up with. A lot of the work done to date has been rather detailed survey work, such as assessing which exact poles might be used, whether Eir poles, ESB poles or other systems, to get the fibre out to houses.”

He added: “We will start before the end of this year with fibre passing not just the broadband connection points, which are focused at community centres and other hubs, but also in Carrigaline, as I understand it, and Cavan. First will be the passing of houses and then it is hoped we will see what the level of uptake there is.

“It is up to the householder to avail of the services. There will be difficulties without doubt.

One cannot engage in projects of this scale and complexity without difficulties. We are, as I said, literally covering the entire country and having to map out and plot out the exact route to get this fibre or a fast wireless connection into each house. It is to be hoped this can be accelerated.”