The Department of Rural and Community Development in partnership with local authority Broadband Officers (BBOs) and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE), has identified approximately 300 sites around the country to act as Broadband Connection Points (BCPs).
BCPs are located in some of the most rural communities throughout each local authority area, including islands off Donegal, Mayo, Galway and Cork. BCP sites have been prioritised for connection within the first 12 months of the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan.
The Broadband Connection Point (BCP) initiative was established in order to ensure that remote areas, particularly those that are likely to wait longest for connections, are provided with some access to high-speed broadband while waiting for the NBP roll-out to reach them.
BCPs will be located in buildings such as community centres and sports clubs. These communities will be provided with a wireless broadband connection and will in turn make this available to the public onsite.
Three types of BCP are planned:
- Community BCP
A facility that will make internet access available indoors (may also provide outdoors connectivity as well) for use by the public. Can accommodate some remote working/hot-desking and online trading, but its BCP activity is primarily focused on community services such as digital skills training, completion and submission of forms (CAP, passports etc.), recreation and special interest activities.
- Remote Working and Enterprise BCP
A facility that is fully fitted and equipped to support remote workers, online trading and / or enterprise activities.
- Open Access BCP
An outdoors only BCP, or an indoors site with no desk space or IT equipment available for public use.
The BCPs aim to make a significant contribution to the social, cultural, and economic fabric of Ireland. Access to broadband at a BCP location will bring multiple benefits to rural residents from basic access which will allow local people the opportunity to avail of public online services such as filing tax returns, applying for passports/driving licences and accessing government services, to those larger sites who can facilitate visitors who wish to work or study remotely.
This initiative plans to bring together rural citizens of all ages to promote new social and working opportunities and to allow local groups to expand the services currently on offer. The benefits of this connectivity will help to build sustainable communities where the BCP site will be the hub of the community and where to date, the lack of broadband has been a barrier to accessing services that are freely available in urban areas.
The diverse mix of locations selected as BCPs will ensure inclusivity for all age groups and interests.
Vodafone has been chosen retail service provider for the BCP initiative and will commence connecting the first sites in August, with the aim to have 300 sites over the next 12 months. Vodafone will also have a role in stimulating demand for services at each BCP.
Where to find your BCP in Mayo
How to get involved
Mayo’s Broadband Officer is the main point of contact for the BCP initiative. If your organisation is interested in providing services at BCPs, or working with BCPs then the Broadband Officer should be your first point of contact.
Mayo Broadband Officer: David Reddington: [email protected]