eir is a private company operating in a liberalised market. Accordingly, management decisions such as those relating to staffing levels is an operational matter for that company and not one in which I, as Minister, have a statutory function.
As the Deputy is no doubt aware, in April 2017, I signed a Commitment Agreement with eir in relation to its plans to provide high speed broadband to 300,000 premises in rural areas on a commercial basis. eir has committed to completing the rollout by the end of this year. Information on eir's planned rural deployment is available at http://fibrerollout.ie. A copy of the Commitment Agreement is available on my Department’s website www.dccae.gov.ie.
Quarterly updates on eir's rural deployment are published on this website. eir has passed a total of 121,000 of the committed premises as of December 2017. Figures for Q1 2018 are expected to be published in May.
I am aware that eir has stated publicly that the voluntary redundancy plan recently announced by them does not in any way impact on its ability to deliver on its contractual commitments in respect of its planned rural deployment of high speed broadband to 300,000 homes and businesses and I welcome this. My Department will continue to monitor the rollout in line with the Commitment Agreement.