The tender process for the National Broadband Plan – a Plan under which every home and business will receive high speed broadband – is continuing.
The decision by ‘eir’ to withdraw from the process is disappointing but it is a decision for the company which has recently been acquired, in large part, by new owners.
The timing and the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan has not changed. The tender process is at a very advanced stage with a core team working on the Plan at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment headquarters.
The remaining bidder – a consortium involving enet and SSE – has clearly stated an ability and eagerness to progress with the tender process and the Plan.
There has been very significant progress on broadband development under this Government. My colleague at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughton TD confirmed to me that the number of premises with high speed broadband is now at 71% – up from 50% less than two years ago.
This figure is continuously and consistently rising with high speed broadband becoming available to hundreds of homes and businesses each day. By the end of this year the figure will rise further to 77% of premises.
At present ‘eir’ is rolling out a high speed broadband to over 300,000 homes and businesses – over 27,000 in Galway – as part of the Rural Deployment Phase of the NBP. I’d like to assure householders and businesses that ‘eir’ has confirmed its commitment to this plan which is subject to a binding agreement between ‘eir’ and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
The National Broadband Plan (NBP) Procurement process is a key priority for Government.
The remaining bidder in the procurement process, the consortium comprising of Granahan McCourt, enet, SSE, John Laing Group plc, has reaffirmed its commitment to the successful conclusion of the NBP process.
When the procurement process reaches a satisfactory conclusion for Government, a contract will be awarded and the network rollout will commence.
The Government is absolutely committed to ensuring the roll out of high speed broadband to the over 500,000 rural homes which are currently without it.