As I have said, there are very different circumstances to the roll-out of the NBI fibre and the work being done by other organisations, such as the work Eir is doing to its own existing network. NBI is a new company coming into the market. It is trying to connect people who have previously not been connected. It has a lot of new works to be done and it does not have an existing relationship with suppliers that other people have. That does not mean that its excuses for delays are reasonable and it does not mean that it does not get penalty clauses applied for the delays that happen, but there is a learning from those. My focus will be to ensure that the delivery is accelerated, which it has done. If we look at other projects such as the vaccine roll-out, we will see there are periods of time where the ramp-up happens. In this case where the surveys are carried out, initial work is carried out and lessons are learned before a much larger rate of roll-out is achieved at later points.
Deputy Naughten specifically asked me when legislation will be brought in to support guidelines for how NBI works with local authorities. Not all of that requires primary legislation or even legislation at all. Some of it just requires sensible work practices and people being brought together. As the Deputy indicated, the task force is going to be the answer to a lot of that. I will come back to him on whether specific primary legislation is to be introduced to support this and give him some timelines around that.
If the Deputy wishes to make suggestions on how that should be done, I am absolutely happy to help him with that.
In general, though, the project is getting back on track and the rate of delivery has greatly increased. I expect that by next year, 140,000 homes will have been passed. At the same time we are delivering this we are also ensuring we have a targeted campaign to encourage people to take up the service, as passing a house with fibre is not equivalent to the occupants signing up or agreeing to take the connection.