Fine Gael TD for Galway West & Mayo South

Parliamentary Question No. 235 on Tuesday, 21st June, 2011


*To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if consideration can be given to extending the remit of the newly announced rural broadband scheme to rural areas of Galway, for example Connemara, owing to the insufficient service provided to these locations which were covered by the national broadband scheme in view of the fact that such deficiencies in broadband access are having a detrimental effect on some Connemara based businesses with the result of jobs being under threat.

– Seán Kyne TD





The recently-launched Rural Broadband Scheme (RBS) is specifically aimed at making a basic broadband service available to the small number of premises in rural Ireland that for a number of mainly technical reasons are unable to avail of a service from a commercial operator.

The EU Commission approved this State intervention on the basis that the premises in question had to be located in a rural non-National Broadband Scheme (NBS) area and could not currently avail of a commercial service.  In those circumstances, it is not possible to extend the reach of the RBS to include NBS areas.

Under the terms of the NBS, all residents within that area are entitled to a service from the NBS service provider “3” at contractually set minimum speeds.  Where customers are not receiving the contractually agreed terms and conditions they should, in the first instance, raise the matter with “3” through the company’s customer service channel.

If this fails to satisfactorily resolve the matter, they can contact my Department’s NBS section who will provide assistance in having the matter settled (details of relevant contact points are available on my Department’s website

It is a fundamental part of the NBS contract that all of the contractual obligations are fully met by the NBS service provider.  Where my Department receives a formal complaint from a customer it is immediately taken up with “3” with a view to resolving the matter as quickly as possible.

I would therefore urge NBS customers who are not happy with the quality of the service they are receiving to pursue the matter with “3” and, if necessary, my Departmental officials.