Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (525)

Barry Cowen


525. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount spent to date in 2019 on the national broadband plan; the amount expected to be spent in 2019 on the plan; if it is below the €75 million allocated under the National Development Plan 2018-2027; if funding can be carried forward to 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21708/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The total value of payments made in relation to the National Broadband Plan (NBP) in 2019 is €953,120.57 (including VAT). This expenditure includes the cost of corporate and economic advice, technical support and network design, the cost of legal and environmental advice. These services were procured by way of competitive tender. In addition, my Department has staff and other administrative costs related to the NBP. The National Development Plan (NDP) included an initial estimate for the National Broadband Plan State intervention for the period 2018 to 2027. This was an estimation of the requirement at the time the NDP was being prepared, since the level of State subsidy for the National Broadband Plan State intervention was always to be determined through the NBP procurement process. The National Broadband Plan is funded through the Capital allocation for my Department. Funding for the National Broadband Plan is allocated from the Communications subhead A.3 and has been allocated €75m in 2019 based on the NDP allocation.

Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004 provides that a maximum of up to 10% of the total capital allocation of each Vote may be carried over to the following financial year, subject to the approval of the Oireachtas and an Order from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.