Broadband Plan in shambolic state and Plan B needed – Stanley
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Communications Brian Stanley TD has said that, given the events of this week, the ongoing issues with the tendering process the National Broadband Plan render it shambolic; the big players leaving the tender, only one bidder remaining, and Government allowing itself be completely squeezed between international venture capitalists, all leaving us no closer to a start date.
The Laois TD said:
“There has been many problems with the broadband tender, and now further questions have emerged over its viability with Ministers meeting the only bidder and meeting when there was other bidders left in the process. This now potentially makes the process legally compromised.
“After seven years in power, Fine Gael have still not given a date when broadband roll out will begin. With the model Government have chosen, the Irish taxpayer will be bank rolling this project for 25 years and will then hand it over ownership to a venture capitalist at the end of this term. We must also question the capability of the remaining bidder to fulfil the project.
“However, we have the situation that Government have created where they are completely reliant on only one bidder with no Plan B if it all fails.
“I have contended that this model is the wrong model. Our proposition is that the significant and extensive state infrastructure criss-crossing the State could be the backbone of rural broadband. We have ESB infrastructure leading to every home in the State, we have the State owned network of the ‘MAN’s’ to regional towns, and the broadband infrastructure that supplies this, and we also have the state purchasing all of the telecoms company, Enet this week. Combined, this forms huge state infrastructure.”