Budget 2021: €210 million allocated to progressing National Broadband Plan

€210 million has been allocated to progressing the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan, with National Broadband Ireland targeting 115,000 premises being passed by the new high-speed fibre network by the end of 2021.

This is one the measures aimed at supporting rural communities announced as part of Budget 2021.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys along with Minister of State with responsibility for rural and community development Joe O’Brien have welcomed a €341 million allocation for rural and community development in Budget 2021.

Measures contained in the budget include:
  • An extra €5 million to invest in remote working facilities at broadband connection points and digital hubs;
  • An additional €2 million for greenways, blueways, trails and other amenities;
  • Extra funding for schemes such as LEADER, CLÁR and the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF).

Minister Humphreys says the budget shows a “commitment to rural towns, villages and communities”.

“Rural Ireland has shown tremendous resilience during Covid-19 and this budget allocation will centre upon economic recovery, job creation and the digital economy,” she added.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment also announced yesterday (Tuesday, October 13) the €210 million allocation to progressing the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan.

Minister Eamon Ryan previously told AgriLand that he was hoping to shorten the timeframe of the plan being rolled out.

Other allocations announced in Budget 2021

Approximately €1.3 billion has been allocated to a national, regional and local roads maintenance and renewable programme.

According to the department, a 2021 allocation of €584 million will allow it to continue to provide grant support for the programme.

€38 million has been allocated to energy efficiency and renewable projects.

The department said this funding is an “almost doubling of the allocation provided in 2020 and will focus on supporting investments that are in keeping with the government’s commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050”.