Thursday, 30 May 2019

Ceisteanna (132)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

132. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position regarding contractual links which exist with the ultimate investors for the national broadband plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23091/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) agreement sets out the contractual framework for delivery of the project. The Agreement is a comprehensive contract tailored specifically for the unique requirements of the NBP, running to over 1,500 pages.

The Government decision on 7 May 2019, means that it is intended to award the NBP State intervention contract to National Broadband Ireland, subject to conclusion of the contract close process, including the finalisation of financial and legal documents. A period of final due diligence on all elements of the contract is part of the normal conclusion of a procurement process.

National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is a new entity established by Granahan McCourt for the purposes of delivering the NBP. The equity of NBI will be introduced by the investors via a holding company (or holding companies) as would be typical for projects such as this.

The precise manner in which National Broadband Ireland will be capitalised by its investors will be contractualised prior to contract close. Those contracts will be reviewed by the Department and its advisers to ensure they are in an acceptable form and content for agreements of that nature and reflect the investors commitments in respect of NBI’s capitalisation. The Minister will have the right through those contracts to enforce any outstanding funding commitments on behalf of the project if necessary. The finalisation and review of those contractual arrangements are an important part of the due diligence process that my Department is carrying out with the Bidder in advance of Contract Award.