Irish govt pushes ahead with broadband plan despite parliament call for review

Friday 9 February 2018 | 12:10 CET | News

The Irish government is pushing ahead with its National Broadband Plan (NBP) despite the field being reduced to one bidder and calls for parliament to review the plan. The remaining bidder is "really committed" to the project and "there is no sense of stopping the clock now", Minister for Communications Denis Naughten told a legislative communications committee, the Irish Times reports.

The NBP procurement team is "still in dialogue" with the bidder, a consortium led by ENet and energy group SSE, and is confident that the process can bring high-speed broadband to the 542,000 most isolated homes and businesses, Naughten said.

He was speaking as the legislature passed a motion calling for a full review of the NBP. The motion placed before the Dail passed by 76 to 48, inflicting a defeat on the government, the Independent reported. The motion asks Naughten to sanction an independent assessment of the process to determine whether or not it is fit for purpose. 

Government sources told the Independent.ie they believe it would take substantially longer to carry out a review than the two months proposed by the Fianna Fail opposition party. "We are six months from having the final contract across the line. A review would delay that," the source said.

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