The Department for the Economy (the Department) provides funding to improve the extent, quality and reliability of telecoms networks and services in cases where the private sector has determined it would not be financially viable to do so.
Over the last 10 years the public sector has invested over £77 million in Northern Ireland (NI) broadband infrastructure.
This short report examines the delivery of two of the most recent projects:
- Northern Ireland Broadband Improvement Project (NIBIP) –part of a larger, national Broadband Improvement Project, which lays new fibre optic telephone lines from existing exchanges to new, small broadband exchanges in more rural areas. The build phase, costing £17.7 million, was completed in December 2017; the take-up phase is expected to complete December 2021;
- Superfast Rollout Programme (SRP2) - project involving laying new fibre optic telephone lines to cabinets (green cabinets at the side of roads), and in some cases to premises. The build phase, costing £15.7 million, commenced February 2015, and due to complete end of December 2018.
Our report will also compare Northern Ireland broadband take-up, coverage and speed, against those in the rest of the United Kingdom.
We expect to publish our report in 2020.