More light has been shed by Eamon Ryan on his Broadband Promises:
Remember the one about schools? Tender doesn’t start until 2009 and there is no end date…
Deputy Eamon Ryan: Each school has broadband connection. The intention is to continue the current broadband connectivity and, on a phased basis, where schools currently have in the order of from half a megabit to two megabits they will be replaced with 100 megabits and local area connectivity networks so that within the school each classroom can be connected.
As I said in the report and today, that will be done on a phased basis starting in 2009. I do not want to be prescriptive on the timing because we must go into a detailed competitive tendering process that must be worked out.
Deputy Eamon Ryan: The word â€œphasedâ€ implies that I will not give a specific completion date because I must work with the industry to ensure a competitive tendering process to see which technologies will best apply. Following the completion of that, we will have the complete outcome of the actual phases.
And on the NBS map and areas where service providers told fibs about, seems they made a better map:
Service providers were given until 30 June 2008 to act on their stated intentions to roll out broadband in the blue areas of the map. As the end of June 2008 has now passed, any blue area where a service provider has failed to roll out services has been changed to white to reflect the fact that no service is available in the area. Any blue area where a service provider now provides a service has been changed to red to reflect the fact that the service is available in the area.
Consequently, the NBS map is now being updated and the next iteration of the map will show areas that are served, red areas and areas where no service is available, white areas. The map will reflect the red and white areas as they stood on 30 June 2008. There will be no blue areas in the next iteration of the map, which will be the final map that will issue with the invitation to tender.
On the MANs:
Phase 1 of the Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) programme provided open access, high-speed broadband networks to 27 towns and cities throughout the country. The MANs were co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund. All 27 MANs from Phase 1 have been successfully handed over to eNet, whose role is to manage, maintain, market and operate the MANs on behalf of the State. The networks are offered to telecommunication service providers on a wholesale basis to allow them to provide services without the need to build their own networks in the various cities and towns. The cost of the Phase 1 MANs Programme was just over €84 million.
Phase 2 of the MANs programme is almost complete. The estimated cost of the Phase 2 MANs Programme, which will provide an additional 60 MANs covering 66 towns, is €90 million.
MANs Projects in 28 towns under Phase 2 were suspended, pending consideration of the findings of a Value for Money and Policy Review of the Phase 1 Programme and a Next Generation Broadband Policy Paper both of which were published last week.
Future investment decisions including any investment in MANs will be guided by the outcome of the consultation on Next Generation Broadband; the recommendations of the Value for Money and Policy Review and other analyses as appropriate.