I am a partner in Analysys Mason and head of its Manchester office. I am also Analysys Mason's lead partner on the national broadband plan in Ireland. I am joined today by my colleague, Mr. Pat Kidney, who is also a partner and head of Analysys Mason's Dublin office, our day-to-day partner on the national broadband plan. I will provide in the following statement some background on Analysys Mason and take the committee through the scope of our engagement in the national broadband plan, followed by commentary and some aspects of our advice.
Analysys Mason is a sector specialist in telecommunications and works across three main areas, namely, strategy, transaction support, and policy and regulation. The company was established over 30 years ago and now has 260 staff in 16 offices around the world. Our headquarters are in London. I have been with Analysys Mason for over 22 years and have worked extensively on broadband-related projects for a wide range of clients, including operators, investors, regulators and governments. My particular focus is on national broadband policy and implementation which is an area in which I have been heavily involved in the UK and other international markets. I have given evidence to competition tribunals and in commercial arbitration cases in the UK and Ireland on high-speed broadband networks. My role in the project for the Department is to provide overall project direction and quality assurance to the team of technical experts working on the project. That team has expertise across fibre networks, fixed wireless access networks, network deployment, state aid, IT systems and other technical areas.
Following a competitive tendering process, Analysys Mason was appointed in January 2015 as technical adviser to the Department, working closely with its chief technical officer, Mr. Patrick Neary. Our scope of advice was in two main phases. The planning phase included technical strategy, network cost modelling, developing the broadband specification and identifying the premises in the intervention area. At the procurement stage, our work included developing various technical specification documents and technical evaluation criteria, interacting with bidders during the technical dialogue meetings, undertaking the technical evaluation and providing various technical inputs to the procurement documentation along with other ad hoc matters. In addition, we have provided various inputs to PwC and Mason Hayes & Curran on, for example, state aid matters and some regulatory issues.
Analysys Mason's role in the pre-qualification of bidders centred on assessing the technical and professional capacity of the consortium with regard to the deployment, operation and maintenance of networks of a similar size and scale to that envisaged in the national broadband plan strategy. When a change of consortium member occurred, we were part of the team that confirmed the consortium continued to meet the technical and professional capability criteria in accordance with the published tender documents. We were the lead author of all technical related procurement documents covering the technical solution, future proofing, products, deployment, operations and maintenance. We took a lead role in the technical dialogue with the bidders, clarifying bidder responses and evaluating the responses against the procurement criteria. We also provided technical briefing notes and made presentations on technology to various stakeholders. This included, for example, covering technology developments in fibre and wireless networks.
As the committee is aware, Eir submitted plans to expand its fibre network build to cover approximately 300,000 premises in the intervention area. In accordance with the published criteria, we carried out an assessment of the credibility of these plans from a technical and deployment perspective. We concluded that they were credible. The intervention area was changed as a result. Another area of focus for Analysys Mason was on network costing. This took place early in our engagement and was updated at various points throughout the process as more information came to light. Our costing work included capital expenditure, or CapEx, and operating expenditure, or OpEx, elements covering both the initial build of the network and its long-term operation. These costs were then taken by KPMG as an input into its subsidy model. We were also involved in technical aspects of the contract development, helping the Department to manage the various technical risks that had been identified throughout the process.
The final tender was received in September 2018. We concluded that the bidder proposed a technical solution that was capable of delivering on the Government's requirements. As part of that analysis, we noted that the total cost of CapEx plus OpEx was broadly similar to our costing model when differences in take-up were accounted for. I am happy to take questions on the advice we have provided.