Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (548, 549, 568, 571)

Barry Cowen

Question:

548. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the claims by Eir that the objectives of the national broadband plan can be met at a cost of €1 billion and that it would succeed in delivering 100% coverage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27988/19]

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Barry Cowen

Question:

549. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on whether Eir is credible in its claim that the national broadband plan can be delivered for less than €1 billion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27989/19]

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Barry Cowen

Question:

568. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on whether the claim of Eir that the policy objectives of the National Broadband Plan can be delivered for under €1 billion is credible; the reason for his views in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28019/19]

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Brendan Smith

Question:

571. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he has considered the recent proposal by a company (details supplied) in relation to the provision of broadband nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28184/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 548, 549, 568 and 571 together.

I would like in the first instance to clarify that Eir has made no formal proposal to Government to replace or supersede the National Broadband Plan.

At its appearance at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Eir's CEO outlined Eir's view on the value for money of the NBP. Eir's CEO made certain observations with regard to Eir's own model for delivery of rural broadband, which could only be delivered outside of the current procurement process. My Department requested a detailed outline from Eir setting out the assumptions made and the financial model underpinning Eir's assumptions. Eir provided further information to my Department at close of business on Friday 28 June and my Department and its NBP advisers are currently analysing this information.