A Kilkenny-based telecommunications firm has begun a recruitment drive which should see up to 50 jobs being created as part of its work on the National Broadband Plan. 

The contract to survey and design the NBP network has been awarded to entegro, which is already involved in deploying networks in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the USA. 

The NBP, being undertaken by National Broadband Ireland, will cover 96% of the country's land mass and is scheduled to connect some of the most remote parts of Ireland. 

Work has already begun in Carlow, with Tipperary to follow soon afterwards, and will involve entegro’s 70-strong team working in rural communities and survey locations nationwide, operating from their Kilkenny city headquarters as well as additional bases in Dublin and Athlone. 

An ongoing recruitment drive is under way for roles including network designers and engineers, experienced surveyors and trainees who want to enter the industry. 

Managing Director Jim Doyle, said the National Broadband Plan is "akin to the rural electrification" of Ireland.

"There is not one home, family, business or community in rural Ireland that will not benefit from being connected to this fibre network. We look forward to the challenge, and to playing our part in the development and delivery of such a critical infrastructure project, that will be vital in Ireland's future prosperity and growth."

Commercial director Fintan Shortall said the project "is a game changer for rural Ireland and for entegro."