NBI’s end of year report shows National Broadband Plan is on time and on budget as rollout reaches almost 217,000 premises

National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company responsible for delivering the Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP), has announced in its end of year update that the project is on time and on budget with 216,898 of the premises covered by the network ready to connect. NBI has also reported take-up rates approaching 50% in areas where the network has been live for more than 18 months, as it continues to meet the Government’s policy objective to provide ubiquitous nationwide access to high-speed broadband.

The company also provided an update on the rollout of Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) in communities and schools, as well its progress on bringing connectivity to the islands.

Peter Hendrick, Chief Executive Officer, National Broadband Ireland, said: “NBI Is pleased to report that at the end of our most recent contractual year which concluded 31st January 2024, we had surpassed our target to pass 185,000 premises with our new national high speed fibre network. Almost 217,000 premises were ready to connect at the end of January with over 68,000 already connected.  

“We have also delivered on our target to connect 672 schools and 283 Broadband Connection Points in community locations in every county across the country. Ensuring that no-one is left behind in the provision of high-speed broadband under the National Broadband Plan, we are also reporting significant progress on our rollout to 27 offshore Islands with the network currently live on 10 of those and engineering survey works commenced or complete on 10 others. We are confident that all 227 Deployment Areas covered in our programme will be completed on time and on budget.” 

Progress update:

Almost 80% of premises (449,367) have now completed the survey and design stages of the programme.
Almost 70% of the project (390,015 premises) has moved to or through construction, with over 40% of premises (238,241) now in the build complete category.
The number of premises passed and which can connect to the fibre network is 216,898, which means the target of 185,000 premises by the end of the current contract year in January 2024 was surpassed.
At the end of the current contract year in January 2024 over 68,000 (68,765) premises were connected to the NBI network which is significantly above all previous forecasts which envisaged 50,000 connections by the end of the current contract year.
Take-up rates are approaching 50% in areas where the network has been live for more than 18 months.
955 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) have been installed and are live with 672 of these in schools.
The NBI infrastructure is already live on 10 islands, surveying works are already complete on 7 islands, surveying works commenced on 3 islands at the end of last year and surveying works are pending for 7 islands.

Minister Ossian Smyth, Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, said: “High-speed, reliable broadband is essential to support Ireland’s growing economy and to connect communities, businesses, farms and schools across the country.

“he National Broadband Plan — one of the largest and most ambitious infrastructural projects since rural electrification — is on schedule and on budget. As a result, Ireland is now a global leader in digital connectivity and is on target to reach the European Commission’s target of gigabit broadband for all by 2030.”

National Broadband Ireland Chairman, David McCourt, said: “As Ireland’s new national fibre network, NBI was established with the vision to be the best open-access wholesale network operator in the world. To achieve that goal, NBI has established all its operations to ensure it provides simple, seamless integration for Retail Service Providers (RSPs) to join the network and start selling services at scale to end-users, supporting the Government’s policy objective to ensure equal access to high-speed broadband for 100% of the population.   

“In its successful execution of that vision, NBI has attracted 62 national and regional RSPs to sign up to sell broadband packages on its network, which has been achieved at a pace that is unprecedented in other markets around the world. This has created a new competitive market in Ireland which ensures that consumers benefit from a far greater choice in the products they can purchase at competitive prices. With customer take-up approaching 50% within 18 months of the NBI network being live, the National Broadband Plan continues to deliver in line with the Government’s bold and ambitious policy objectives.” 

According to Oxford University professor Bent Flyvbjerg (author of the 2023 book ‘How Big Things Get Done’), having reviewed more than 16,000 infrastructure projects from 20 plus different fields in 136 countries, Ireland’s National Broadband Plan sits in the elite 0.5% of global mega projects for being on schedule, on budget, and delivering against the original policy objectives, which is a fact that Ireland can be extremely proud about.

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