Broadband On The Run [Updated]


This evening.


From top: Social Democrat co-leaders Catherine Murphy (left) and Roisin Shorthall at Leinster House this morning; Social Democrat motion on the National Broadband Plan

This morning.

The Social Democrats have introduced a Dáil motion (above) – to be debated this evening – calling for a “Government commitment that any National Broadband Plan roll-out will prioritise affordability for homes and businesses in rural Ireland”.

Party co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said:

“People in rural Ireland are desperate for reliable and sustainable broadband but they will only be guaranteed such a service if we get the National Broadband plan contract award process right while we have this chance.

We have to ensure that the process of awarding the contract is totally beyond reproach. There is no point in going ahead with a process if, when the infrastructure is finally in place, an average household cannot afford to connect to the network.”

Deputy Murphy added:

“The problems we are now witnessing with the National Children’s Hospital for example are not the result of something that happened after the project began. They are the result of a laissez-faire approach to the original tendering and contract process.”

Previously: National Broadband Plan on Broadsheet

9 thoughts on “Broadband On The Run [Updated]

  1. Truth in the News

    Eir are currently rolling out to selected customers an optical fiber service
    how did Eir select the customers they would provide a service to, who in
    the Dept of Communications agreed to this, given that the network is laid
    on public property, are Eir being provided with Public Funding given that
    they have significant debts…….in passing the Gov own the ESB why were
    they not required to strap the fiber cables to the domestic supply wires
    They already have a national fiber circuit looped on their 110, 220 and 400
    kV High Tension cables…..this cost 60 million……whats the return on it
    and indeed how much of its capacity is used…….?

    1. Otis Blue

      “A deal between Eir and the Government in 2017 saw the plan redrawn, with Eir taking on 300,000 premises in rural areas, reducing the intervention area to about 542,000 premises, meaning about 990,000 people or 21pc of the national population, and 381,000 members of the labour force.

      Eir agreed to invest an additional €200m to upgrade 300,000 premises in 890 communities to fibre broadband in a move that would also help accelerate the roll-out of its fibre footprint to 1.9m premises by the end of 2018.

      The intervention area proposed by the Government was contested by Eir, which insisted it could deliver fibre to these areas and therefore required no intervention.

      Eir is understood to have passed 175,000 of these premises at the end of June 2018 according to the Department of Communications.

      The Eir deal no doubt frustrated other members on the shortlist and some complained that Eir had effectively cherry-picked the most commercially viable 300,000 premises on the plan, leaving rivals with harder-to-serve locations”

      I think it should be remembered that rolling out the infrastructure is one thing; securing customers willing to pay for the service is quite another. It’s my understanding that no more than 20% of the ‘cherrypicked’ premises have actually signed up.

    2. Giggidygoo

      Nothing like creating a cake and donating it to the cookie monster. In other words, Eir laying the groundworks so that it’s in place for one Haitian businessman to get it donated.

  2. Eoin

    Fair play Catherine & Roisin, it’s a €3 billion (some from the State, some from the EU and some from customers) contract. It’s 2x (the current) estimate of the cost of the childrens hospital.

    Concerns about the “independent auditor” Peter Smyth’s report and its completeness and rigour. Yep.

    Concerns that Richard Bruton will unilaterally award the contract, before the PAC scrutinises the costs and process next month and without any scrutiny of the as yet unpublished Analysys Mason report. Yep.

    And the glaring concern, why is govt awarding a contract to an investment shell which is managing a consortium when the likes of the ESB could do it all.

    You’d think the FFers or Shinners would have beaten the Soc Dems to this but yet again, there they are, Catherine and Roisin, punching well above their weight.

  3. Joe Small

    Private members Motions aren’t worth the paper their printed on. You can get a press release out of one or a few minutes on Oireachtas Report but that’s about it.

    1. Ron

      Well it’s more then anyone else is doing to shine a light on this fiasco. It stinks of the usual dodgy behind the scenes, wink and a nod, you scratch my back business approach that has dominated Irish political life and how the state awards contracts.

      Why do they even convene Tribunals if there is no learning from them.

      Irish taxpayer being played for fools again and the vast majority don’t know anything about this whole debacle.

  4. Truth in the News

    The Government own the MAN networks in 96 towns and cities and gave
    the contract and later renewed it to Enet, how have they managed it, where
    are the figures for use of its capacity and the income derived therefrom
    who availed of bandwith and at what rates, since the systems went live
    what percentage of the overall bandwith was used in each MAN area
    Have the Man networks being interfaced with other Fiber Networks
    ie ESB, Esat/BT/CIE,Bord Gais and indeed Eir……?
    Next the Fiber laid by the ESB, Bord Gais, Esat/BT how is managed are
    there traffic statistics, the Esat is of particular interest in that the network
    is laid on CIE property with an option of right of CIE to use several fiber
    circuits…..CIE might have overload trains but hardly overused bandwith
    who uses it…….?. What experience have the current NBP final bidder in
    installing an telecommunications optical fiber network, if the report on
    the management of MAN’s was published we might have a better idea
    is the reason its not being released is that it will jeopadise the awarding
    of the NBP contract.
    Healy Rea may have being correct as the only cable was the “Clothes Line”
    if its a conductor… could well work on 5G even in the Black Valley:
    All this has a historical parallel, the ESB was setup in the late 1920’s
    large sections of rural Ireland never got electrical power until well into the 50’s
    yet the poles and the wires traversed the townlands and villages and left
    them in the dark

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