Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Bruton, Richard

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


National Broadband Plan Expenditure

Was asked: the funding his Department is providing in respect of the national broadband plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Broadband Plan aims to ensure that every home, school and business in Ireland has access to a high speed broadband service. The signing of the contract with National Broadband Ireland ...More Button

My Department has a capital allocation in 2020 for the National Broadband Plan of €119 million. The multi-annual expenditure ceilings for Capital Expenditure for my Department are published in th...More Button

National Broadband Plan

Was asked: if he will report on the launch he attended of the national broadband plan.More Button

Was asked: ·the role played by his Department in the organisation or funding of an event to sign the national broadband plan which took place in County Wicklow on 19 November 2019; and if he will make a state...More Button

Was asked: the criteria by which the attendees of an event to sign the national broadband plan which took place in County Wicklow on 19 November 2019 were chosen; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if his Department was asked to invite candidates in the upcoming general election to an event to sign the national broadband plan which took place in County Wicklow on 19 November 2019; the declare...More Button

Was asked: the costs associated with the launch of the national broadband plan in Laragh, County Wicklow, on 21 November 2019.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 378, 393 to 395, inclusive, and 402 together. 

  The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is the Government’s plan to rollout high speed broadband ...More Button

Was asked: if a marked signed copy of the contract and associated documents he signed with the preferred bidder of the national broadband plan will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The full National Broadband contract, redacted for commercial sensitivity, will be published in due course on my Department's website.More Button

Was asked: if his Department will embark on an advertising campaign for the national broadband plan in advance of the beginning of the roll-out of fibre; if so, the nature of the campaign; the budget for the ...More Button

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) contract, which was signed on 19 November, sets out the communication and demand stimulation requirements that must be undertaken as part of the contract. These in...More Button

My Department will also continue to raise awareness among the general public on the objectives of the NBP, the rollout of the service and the benefits of high speed broadband.More Button

It is important to note that the purpose of a communications campaign and initatives to maximise awareness will be to increase the take-up of high speed broadband. It will be important to highlig...More Button

  Question No. 397 answered with Question No. 392.More Button

Broadband Service Provision

Was asked: his plans to extend high-speed fibre broadband to a household (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: his plans to extend high-speed fibre broadband to a household (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 379 and 380 together. More Button

The National Broadband Plan is the Government’s plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises including almost 100,000 businesse...More Button

The Deputy's Questions relate to two premises which are both located in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website...More Button

Approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) will be deployed across all counties during 2020. The BCPs will be located in community centres, schools, library hubs and local GAA halls and...More Button

NBI will pass approximately 10,000 premises by the end of 2020. By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises, with 70,000 - 100,000 passed each year thereafter until rollo...More Button

A deployment plan will be made available by NBI shortly. Over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within the next four years.More Button

Was asked: if a solution will be provided for a school (details supplied) that is experiencing significant connectivity issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is the government’s plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises including almost 100,000 busin...More Button

The Deputy's question relates to a school which is located in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.br...More Button

A deployment plan will be made available by NBI shortly. Over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within the next four years.More Button

Approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) will be deployed across all counties during 2020. The BCPs will be located in community centres, schools, library hubs and local sports halls ...More Button

By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises. Approximately 70,000-100,000 premises will be passed each year thereafter, with the final premises to be completed in 2026.More Button

Climate Action Plan

Was asked: his views on environmental concerns and Government action (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Climate Action Plan sets out, for the first time, how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also puts Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbo...More Button

Was asked: the number of compressed natural gas public fuelling stations open and operational; the location in which they are based; the number that was originally planned and scheduled to open in 2019; the l...More Button

Was asked: the way in which the State will ensure EU targets for the deployment of alternative fuel refuelling infrastructure and recharging points will be met within the set deadlines to support the commerci...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 382 and 383 together. More Button

The delivery of 14 public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations, as part of the Causeway Project co-funded by the EU Connecting Europe Facility, is an operational matter for Gas Networ...More Button

The Green Connect project, which is also being developed by Gas Networks Ireland, has been approved for funding from the Connecting Europe Facility Transport Fund. The project spans a five year p...More Button

The development of electric vehicle recharging points is being supported through a grant of up to €600 for the installation of a home charge point, a grant of up to €5,000 for Local Authorities t...More Button

Budget 2020 provided €6 million in funding to my Department to support the development of this charging infrastructure with €4 million allocated to the home charge point grant and €2 million to t...More Button

Funding of €10 million from the Climate Action Fund is supporting the ESB to develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle fast charging network, with the ESB also investing €10 million...More Button

In addition, new regulations being developed by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will require provision to be made for charge points in new domestic and non-domestic build...More Button

Exploration Licences

Was asked: the reason prospecting licences are being granted in areas of Natura 2000 sites, national heritage areas, special areas of conservation and special protection areas in view of the fact that no mini...More Button

National Broadband Plan Implementation

Was asked: if discussions have taken place between his Department and companies (details supplied) regarding the minimum amount of premises for the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The National Broadband Plan is the Government's plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses...More Button

The contract to deliver this service was signed with National Broadband Ireland (NBI) on 19 November 2019. Work will begin immediately and a deployment plan will be made available by NBI shortly....More Button

Approximately 300 community centres, schools, library hubs and local sports halls in every county in Ireland will be connected to high speed broadband during 2020, to enable communities to quickl...More Button

NBI will pass approximately 10,000 premises by the end of 2020. By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises. Each year thereafter, approximately 70,000 to 100,000 premise...More Button

The country will be divided into 110 areas of around 5,000 premises. The subsidy will be paid to NBI in arrears as premises in each of the 110 areas are completed. There is a comprehensive set of...More Button

Was asked: the cost to bring high-speed broadband to the home under the national broadband plan for members of the public; the process involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The contract awarded to National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is for the sale of wholesale broadband services only in the designated areas.More Button

As the network is built consumers will be notified that they can order from their broadband service provider of choice, such as eir, Sky, Vodafone, or a local broadband provider. The price that N...More Button

It was a requirement under the State Aid rules that subsidy could only be awarded to a wholesale only network provider of broadband services. This will ensure that consumers have the choice of ma...More Button

National Broadband Plan Data

Was asked: the number of providers that have been accepted for the national broadband plan; the number of providers that have been rejected without engagement; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the material change to the national broadband plan intervention area since the mapping exercise; the number of premises added to the intervention area; the number of premises removed from same; the...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 387 and 388 together. More Button

As a State intervention, the NBP must comply with the requirements of the European Commission’s Guidelines on the application of State aid rules for broadband networks. The Guidelines require, am...More Button

Having consulted with industry on an ongoing basis, my Department recently conducted a final public consultation to close the mapping exercise in advance of the award of the NBP contract. Over 18...More Button

Following evaluation of the submissions and receipt of a positive State aid decision on 15 November, responses have been issued to the submissions from the commercial operators. More Button

Having evaluated the submissions received, approximately 38,000 premises were removed from the intervention area as commercial operators provided evidence that these premises can now access a hig...More Button

In addition, approximately 37,000 premises originally identified as being served by commercial operators have now been included in the intervention area for the NBP, as commercial operators' plan...More Button

The map has also been updated for approximately an additional 2,000 premises identified in the latest Ordinance Survey Ireland data. The final Intervention Area now covers 537,596 premises.More Button

Renewable Energy Incentives

Was asked: the grants and incentives given in budget 2020 to help in the production of biogas; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Support Scheme for Renewable Heat has been developed to financially support the adoption of renewable heating systems by commercial, industrial, agricultural, district heating and other non-dom...More Button

The first phase of the scheme, an installation grant for heat pumps, opened for applications in September 2018. Following EU State aid approval, the second phase of the scheme, an operational sup...More Button

As set out in the Climate Action Plan, it is intended to set a 2030 target for the level of energy to be supplied by indigenous biomethane injected into the gas grid. My Department is in the proc...More Button

Environmental Policy

Was asked: the position regarding a nationwide ban on smoky fuels; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the status of the work under way by his Department and the Attorney General to finalise a legally robust plan to implement a nationwide smoky coal ban; his plans to do so by regulation, amending le...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 392 and 397 together.

  I refer the Deputies to the replies to Questions No.58 of 16 October. The position is unchanged. The government does no...More Button

  Questions Nos. 393 to 395, inclusive, answered with Question No. 378.More Button

Electric Vehicles

Was asked: if grants or accelerated capital allowances are available for businesses which purchase and use newly manufactured fully electric mini diggers; if this matter will be reviewed; and if he will make ...More Button

There is a generous range of supports available to incentivise the purchase of electric vehicles. In order to qualify for the electric vehicle purchase grant, the electric vehicle must be classifie...More Button

The accelerated capital allowance is a tax incentive scheme that promotes investment in energy efficient products and equipment. The equipment models eligible for the scheme are listed on a produ...More Button

Energy Policy

Was asked: the State agencies that have a statutory or regulatory function in respect of energy security; the agencies and bodies that have an advisory role on energy security; the way in which he will ensure...More Button

I have overall responsibility for national policy in the energy sector. This includes policy in relation to energy security, which is fully aligned with EU law and EU policy objectives. The Commiss...More Button

In relation to gas, the CRU has the function, under the Electricity Regulation Act 1999, as amended, to secure the continuity, security and quality of supplies of natural gas. The CRU is also the...More Button

The National Oil Reserves Agency has statutory responsibility in relation to the storage of oil stocks for use in an emergency, at a level sufficient to comply with the State’s stockholding oblig...More Button

The transmission system operators for gas and electricity, Gas Networks Ireland and EirGrid, have legal responsibilities in relation to gas and electricity security. More Button

Article 40 of EU Directive 2019/944 on common rules for the internal market for electricity sets out tasks of electricity transmission system operators including that they shall be responsible fo...More Button

Article 13 of EU Directive 2009/73/EC, as amended, concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas, sets out tasks of gas transmission system operators, including that they shall o...More Button

My Department regularly engages with State Agencies and other stakeholders, including Gas Networks Ireland and the ESB, as part of the normal process of feeding into policy development and formul...More Button

In relation to energy sustainability and security, I am initiating a major review into Ireland's energy sustainability and security which will:More Button

- Consider the optimal actions that need to be taken, in reaching 70% renewable electricity, to ensure Ireland's electricity system is backed up in a secure, safe and sustainable way. More Button

- Assess the role of gas during the transition, as the lowest CO2 emitting fossil fuel, and consider how and from where it is sourced. More Button

- Review the role that other technologies can play in the transition, including battery storage, pumped storage, the role of interconnection (both gas and electricity) and the possibilities for h...More Button

- Consider what the roadmap for renewable electricity looks like in the period from 2030 to achieving carbon neutrality in 2050More Button

I have written to the Chairperson of EirGrid, ESB, Bord na Móna, Ervia and CRU to seek their input into the review.More Button

Inland Fisheries

Was asked: the status of the proposed national salmon life centre in Ballina, County Mayo; the projected timeframe for the commencement of the development; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Mobile Telephony Services

Was asked: his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the safety of 5G; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

5G is the next generation of mobile communications and has the potential to deliver hugely enhanced connectivity.More Button

The potential health impacts of exposure to non-ionising radiation are addressed in a substantial volume of internationally recognised scientific research and evidence. This includes the guidelin...More Button

The ICNIRP Guidelines apply up to a frequency of 300 gigahertz (GHz), well above the maximum frequencies being considered for 5G. ComReg, the independent telecoms regulatory authority, ensures th...More Button

An Irish Government commissioned report published in 2016 reaffirmed the conclusions of an earlier 2007 report, that there is insufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship between expo...More Button

Nevertheless, public exposure to non-ionising radiation is an issue that is kept under review. As Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, I assigned a new statutory function ...More Button

  Question No. 402 answered with Question No. 378.More Button