Eir will not take legal action in Europe against the state subsidised National Broadband Plan after the government admitted that the 750,000 rural homes and businesses to be covered by the plan can be reduced.

The move comes as the government released an updated map showing the locations of rural homes and businesses that will be included in a taxpayer-funded broadband roll out over the next five years.

The broadband plan will guarantee minimum speeds of 30Mbs at current market rates to every home and business in the country, regardless of location. Rural dwellers seeking to find out whether their home or business is covered by the plan can enter their Eircode postcode on the government’s new NBP website to find out.

The scheme will cost the state an initial €275m, €75m of which is being supplied by the European Regional Development Fund. The government will offer a tender for the contract rollout, with at least six telecoms firms expressing an interest. The first homes to be connected to the service are expected to come on stream in early 2017, according to a spokesman for the Department of Communications.

Under EU state intervention rules, the government cannot roll out broadband in a rural area if a private operator plans to do so itself.

For more on this article, please visit: Irish Independent