Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Questions (545, 547)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

545. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason provided by companies (details supplied) for withdrawing from the national broadband plan; if the prospective level of subsidy available was provided as a reason; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12033/19]

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Kate O'Connell

Question:

547. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason provided to his Department by a company (details supplied) for withdrawing from the national broadband plan; if the prospective level of subsidy available was provided as a reason; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12051/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 545 and 547 together.

I have been clear that the level of State subsidy for the National Broadband Plan State intervention will be determined through the NBP procurement process and the nature and cost of the solution required to deliver the State intervention network would only become known through extensive engagement with bidders during the procurement process.

SIRO withdrew from the National Broadband Plan State intervention procurement process on 26 September 2017. In its formal communication to the Department SIRO stated it "could not develop a business case to justify continued participation in the NBP bid process".

Eir withdrew from the NBP procurement process on 30 January 2018. In its formal communication to my Department it stated its withdrawal was due to "commercial, regulatory and governance issues".

Both companies made the reasons for their withdrawal from the NBP procurement process public at the time.

I note that in a recent appearance before the Public Accounts Committee the CEO of eir referenced the company’s withdrawal from the NBP procurement process. In this appearance, the potential level of investment to be provided by the State was not cited as a reason for that withdrawal.

Question No. 546 answered with Question No. 544.
Question No. 547 answered with Question No. 545.