The final tender for the contract to roll out the National Broadband Plan State intervention was received by my Department on 18 September and this is the final stage in the procurement process. Evaluation of that tender submission is ongoing and will be allowed the time required. I do not propose to speculate on the outcome of that ongoing evaluation. On conclusion of the evaluation, my Department will make a recommendation to me on whether to appoint the bidder as preferred bidder and I will bring the matter to Government for decision. The level of subsidy required to bring high speed broadband services to citizens and businesses in the NBP State intervention area will be determined through the procurement process.
The procurement process was launched in December 2015.
Expenditure on external advisors in support of the NBP procurement process from January 2016 to date is approximately €18.05 million. This expenditure includes the cost of corporate and economic advice, technical support and network design, the cost of legal advice, environmental advice and process auditor costs. These services were procured by way of competitive tender.