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Image Research shows majority of public in favour of NBP - if the price is right
Image Daragh Cassidy
Head Writer

Almost two thirds of Irish adults think the Government should proceed with the National Broadband Plan. However the cost is a factor in their support.

The research, conducted by RED C on behalf of bonkers.ie, surveyed a nationally representative sample of just over 1,000 adults during March, and showed that 65% of people say the Government should proceed with the plan.

At 66%, support for the plan is slightly higher in areas outside of Dublin than the capital, where it reaches 62%.   

However cost is a factor for the public in whether to proceed. Costs for the full rollout of the plan have ranged anywhere from €1.5bn to €3bn.

Only 19% of people think the Government should proceed at any cost while 17% feel the Government should not proceed with the plan at all, and direct resources elsewhere.

18% feel the Government should only proceed if the cost can come in below €1.5bn, a figure that may be impossible to meet.

19% expressed no opinion.

Q. Cost estimates for the rollout of the National Broadband Plan range from €1.5bn to €3bn. Based on this, which of the following best represents your opinion on the rollout of the National Broadband Plan?

Total

Dublin

Rest of Ireland

Proceed at any cost

19%

13%

21%

Proceed if cost can come in under €3 billion

13%

13%

13%

Proceed if cost can come in under €2 billion

15%

16%

14%

Proceed if cost can come in under €1.5 billion

18%

20%

18%

Do not proceed - resources should be directed elsewhere for now

17%

19%

16%

No opinion

19%

19%

19%

Net procced

65%

62%

66%

As we can see, the results show the public is divided almost evenly on whether to proceed with the National Development Plan at all costs or whether not to proceed at all. However, a clear majority do want to see the plan delivered but this is dependent on cost, which is hardly surprising after the debacle that has been the National Children's Hospital. Quite simply, the public doesn’t want to see another major infrastructure project spiral wildly out of control! 

Should the private sector step in?

There has been a lot of talk recently about providers such as Eir, Virgin and Siro rolling out fibre countrywide leading some to query if the NBP is still needed at all.

While these companies have announced significant expansion plans to their fibre networks over the past few months, as always the devil is in the detail. Many of the annoucements are a rehash of previous plans and large swaths of rural Ireland will still remain without decent broadband.  

Could 5G technology be a solution?

Companies like Vodafone and Three are into early trials with 5G technology which could go places fibre can't reach. But 5G technology will still have its own limitations with regards to range and distance.

Also, 5G technology requires masts on base stations countrywide to transmit its signal over a small radius, and these base stations will need fibre. So in order to work properly, 5G needs fibre - but fibre doesn’t need 5G.

Check out your options on bonkers.ie

If you're stuck waiting for the NBP to be delivered remember to check the alternatives.

Providers such as Eir, Siro and Virgin are constantly rolling out their high-speed networks to more and more homes nationwide while satellite broadband from providers like Bigblu is a potential solution for those who can’t get fibre.

On bonkers.ie you can quickly check what speeds and providers are available in your area with our broadband comparison service. Just type in your address or eircode and we'll take it from there!