Further Delays to National Broadband Plan are unacceptable – Brian Stanley TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications Brian Stanley TD has expressed disappointment at indications from Minister Naughten, that there will be further delays in the procurement process of the National Broadband Plan.
Minister for Communications Denis Naughten stated at a Budget Press Conference yesterday that he was not going to be fixed on when the actual (National Broadband) Contract will be signed.
“It is alarming and disappointing to hear these indications from Minister Naughten that there will be further delays to the planned timeframe of rolling out national high-speed broadband given the fact that our broadband coverage is so poor.
“Ireland currently sits in 20th place in Europe for national broadband connectivity and this situation is hampering job creation and development in many parts of the country and in particular rural areas.
“The latest indication of a delay in awarding the procurement contract is just the latest in a string of previous delays to the NBP project.
“When the National Broadband Plan was initially announced in 2012 the Fine Gael/Labour Government indicated a completion date of 2018.
“Following this a commitment was given that the procurement process would be complete by the end of 2016 and rolled out by 2020.”
As late as July of this year, in answer to a question to Deputy Stanley, the Minister stated that the Procurement Contract for the National Broadband Plan would be in place by June of 2017, with full roll out complete by 2022.
“Now the Minister cannot confirm the procurement process will be complete by this date, which means it is likely that the roll out process will not have even commenced by 2018.”
“Sinn Féin supports the rollout of the national high speed Broadband as a means to boost our rural communities and regional economies.”
“Ireland cannot afford further delays to this rollout.”