1 February 2018
By Mary Bermingham
Eir has withdrawn from the tendering for the National Broadband plan, however Cork Senator, Tim Lombard, has expressed that Fine Gael remain committed to broadband rollout.
Senator Lombard said: “The National Broadband Plan (NBP) Procurement process is a key priority for Government, and we will continue to put pressure on the Department of Communications to ensure that projects will commence as scheduled this year.
“The Government is absolutely committed to ensuring the rollout of high speed broadband to the 500,000 plus rural Irish homes that are currently without it.
“Access to high speed broadband has the potential to transform rural Ireland in a comparable manner to the Rural Electrification project of the mid 1940’s. It will help support our local communities and build a sustainable future for people living and working in rural Ireland; broadband rollout has been promised since 2012 and it must be delivered.
“While it is unfortunate that Eir has pulled out of the process, our Government colleague Minster Naughten has assured us that it will not impact the rollout timeframe.
“Eir is currently rolling out high speed broadband, predominantly fibre to the home, of over 300,000 premises in rural Ireland.
“I’d like to assure people that this rollout is subject to a binding agreement and will continue – Eir has reconfirmed its commitment to this commercial investment as well as their ongoing investment in broadband nationally.”
Senator Lombard concluded: “When this Government took office, about 50% of premises had high speed broadband. That figure is now 71% and by the end of this year, 77% of premises will have high speed access.
“We are delivering high speed access to 300 farms every week.
“Independent Minister, Denis Naughten, will be attending the Oireachtas Communications committee meeting next week and I will be insisting that broadband rollout must be delivered, and looking for assurances that the projects will commence as scheduled.”