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Irish broadband speed is going to be as fast as it is in South Korea - Naughten

Minister Denis Naughten said an additional 300,000 premises will get high speed broadband within 90 weeks.

Image: Shutterstock/Alexander Chaikin

BROADBAND SPEED IN Ireland is going to be as fast as that found in South Korea, according to Communications Minister Denis Naughten.

Today the minister announced that an additional 300,000 premises will get high speed broadband within 90 weeks. 

These premises were previously part of the State Intervention Area as part of the National Broadband Plan, but now, the service will be provided by Eir.

The National Broadband Plan is a government policy initiative which aims to deliver high speed broadband to every citizen and business in Ireland, particularly those in areas that have been left behind from commercial companies.

The National Broadband Plan’s ambition is to achieve 100% coverage across Ireland within three to five years.

The contract signed between the government and Eir today, will provide high-speed broadband to some 810,000 citizens.

“Speeds will be more than are what are available in New York,” said the minister, adding they will be on par with that found in South Korea.

Naughten said their are strict targets for Eir to deliver upon.

broadband

“Today is a good day for rural Ireland. The agreement that I have signed with Eir means one house every minute of every working day will get fibre to the door,” said the minister.

With increased access to broadband, rural Ireland and rural businesses will thrive, he said.

How will people find out about broadband in their area?

The Broadband Map, which can be found on a government website, shows the premises which will require state intervention.

In one broadband blunder, it was pointed out to the minster that the people they are encouraging to log on to the internet to view the map don’t have access, the minister said internet ‘hubs’ are going to be established in areas such as community centres and libraries where access is poor.

It was also pointed out that an email address to contact Eir is listed in the contract, but no phone number. The minister clarified that a number for people to call will be made available.

When discussing details of the contract between the government and Eir, Naughten  stated that the telecommunications company will face penalties if they fail to deliver on their commitments.

However, he said he could not provide the details of the penalties they face for commercial reasons.

Naughten said Eir will be liable to refund costs to the government if they have to go back to tender or if the figures published in today’s contract are not delivered upon.

Asked about reports in the Irish Times newspaper today that the agreement with Eir carried a number of legal risks for the State, Naughten said he is always very careful in terms of these detailed and complicated process.

He said it was always the case that the government could alter the broadband map. The minister said commercial companies are now stepping in to deliver broadband in some areas which were left idle due to fears the state might intervene and take over those areas.

He said he understood promises were made to people before that were not delivered upon. Naughten committed to delivering today’s plan for rural Ireland.

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