Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (559)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

559. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason the provision of technical advisory services in support of the national broadband plan was not part of the original tender process and a condition of contract award to have technical advisory services in place (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52816/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The National Broadband contract, that I signed on 19th November 2019 with National Broadband Ireland (NBI), will deliver the Government’s commitment to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises including almost 100,000 businesses and farms, along with 695 schools, where commercial operators will not commit to deliver this service.

The NBP contract is a detailed document that provides for the design, build and operation of a national high speed broadband network by NBI and includes detailed provisions that are designed to protect the interests of the State and citizens. My Department will manage governance of the NBP contract and as I have outlined to the Oireachtas, my Department’s NBP team will be supported in this task by a range of external experts, as was the case during the procurement phase. To this end, my Department recently published a request for tenders for the technical expertise required to support the Department’s core team, for at least the next two years. The technical expertise that is being sought through an open tendering process, will assist the Department monitor the progress of the network rollout and to evaluate the large volume of technical information that NBI will must provide to the Department, during the deployment phase of the rollout in particular.