Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Ceisteanna (759)

Barry Cowen


759. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the term "the bidder" in the third paragraph of the context of options outlined in the 2019 national broadband development contingency plan options document refers to a company (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23486/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

My Department considered a number of alternative options available to Government to advance the availability of high speed broadband premises across the State in the event the NBP State intervention procurement process failed to deliver a solution acceptable to Government. The Contingency Plan Report 2019 was published by my Department and is available here (https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/communications/topics/Broadband/national-broadband-plan/Pages/Key-Procurement-Documents--.aspx).

The alternative options considered in the Contingency Plan Report 2019 were based on three alternatives– a phased approach, a separate build within a confined budget and a backhaul only solution. Some of these alternatives had already been analysed in 2018. The Department’s own internal knowledge underpinned the analysis of these alternatives, based on the technical and commercial expertise within the State's team and its experience through engagement with the market during the NBP intervention. For example, the Department had developed its own detailed analysis of the cost and timeframe for a backhaul solution in 2014. In addition, the Department had access to analysis regarding costings and timelines from external bodies such as ComReg which provided information on alternatives such as a fixed wireless approach based on a subsidised fibre backhaul build.

The final tender solution submitted by the bidder provided some additional factual information that supported the modelling of these solutions, for example, the likely length of road network and the likely number of poles and ducts within the intervention area.