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Government must clarify Status of National Broadband Plan – Cullinane

28 March, 2019 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane today called on the government to clarify the status of the National Broadband Plan, saying that the issue of one of significant concern to rural Ireland.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“Today, I questioned the Secretary General of the Department of Communications on the current status of the National Broadband Plan.

“I asked him if he was confident the project would go ahead.

“He was silent for 15 seconds before giving a standard reply of all options being on the table.

“His answer did little to assuage the fears of the 1.1 million people who may have to remain without broadband coverage due to what has been by any standard a disastrous process.

“This Government was completely ideologically wedded to a privatised model for the National Broadband Plan.

“The tender process was flawed from the beginning, and now it appears that it might not even go ahead.

“It gave a blank cheque to private venture capitalist, reliant on a single bidder in the process and further reliant on striking a deal using Eir’s infrastructure.

“The commitment to deliver high-speed broadband to every home and business by 2020 clearly will never happen while Fine Gael remain in Government.

“Six years after the National Broadband Plan was first announced, we still do not have a date for commencement.

“There is State infrastructure going to every home through electricity infrastructure, and other fibre infrastructure in State hands that can be used. Sinn Féin called for its use as far back as 2012.

“People in rural Ireland want and need high-speed broadband. Under this Fine Gael led Government, they will continue to wait for many years to come.” 

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