People obviously raise the issue with me. When I explain to them that Telecom Éireann was sold 20 years ago and that we do not own the infrastructure and rely on the private sector to deliver for rural areas, they understand our position on providing 146,000 km of fibre to connect rural areas to the network, which is important for our future. I explained to the people that we considered every alternative, as I outlined to Deputy Stanley. We sought to determine whether there were cheaper ways of proceeding. We evaluated the cost at several gateways to see whether there was a cheaper way, and we found there was not. Those are the explanations I give.
With regard to the critique of the cost-benefit analyses, I assure the Deputy that the cost-benefit analysis carried out in 2015, which was published, and that in 2019, which is being published, are absolutely robust. I acknowledge that in the process of verification of the second cost–benefit analysis, there was scrutiny of the benefits, which were reduced, and there was scrutiny of the costs, which were also reduced. That was done, however, with full participation on the part of those concerned, who did the work professionally. That was an example of the system working. It was a matter of making sure that any cost–benefit analysis was subject to due diligence so we would now have confidence in it.