High-speed broadband connections should be available to rural homes in mid-Roscommon by autumn at the latest with National Broadband Ireland starting construction of its fibre optic network in the area this week.
Pre-orders for connections to the 500 mbps super high-speed network are expected to begin from September.
Sub-contractors have now started to cut back hedges and lay cable in ducting in the areas around Roscommon town including Ballymurray, Knockcroghery, Lecarrow, Athleague, Castlecoote, Donamon, Ballymacurley, Kilrooskey and Fourmilehouse.
Independent TD and former Communications Minister, Denis Naughten, has admitted that the timeline may experience further delays.
“There has been a 12-week delay due to Covid-19, but National Broadband Ireland is hopeful it can make up some of this time during the current phase.
“This timeline has seen slippage of about twelve weeks as a result of Covid-19, and due to delays to the installation of telecoms infrastructure,” he said.
“However, there still remains a risk to the completion dates due to the pandemic. It is expected that the vast majority of connections to homes will be from the nearest eir telephone pole and it is important that homeowners make sure they can connect to the fibre when it comes to their door, by ensuring there are no trees etc. blocking the route from their home to the nearest telephone pole or that any ducts are free of dirt and debris.
“While the initial build-out will start in the rural areas around Ballinasloe, work has already commenced around Roscommon town with work in Athlone, other parts of south Roscommon and Carrick-on-Shannon taking place later in the year. These will be some of the first areas in the country to get this new broadband.
“The next phase of the build-out will include Castlerea, Elphin, Rooskey, Curraghboy, Cloonfad in west Roscommon and Newbridge, Co. Galway to complete the coverage of County Roscommon and East Galway,” he concluded.
Further information on the National Broadband Plan can be found at www.nbi.ie and homeowners can register for updates using their eircode.