This afternoon

A report carried out by the Oireachtas Committee on Communications has recommended that the broadband network infrastructure remain in public ownership.

The Government has said the contract for the National Broadband Plan will be awarded to Granahan McCourt later this year.

[The report says Granahan McCourt will recoup its money within seven to eight years and retain full ownership, while at the same time the State will have invested almost €3 billion with no ownership rights]

In the report, the committee has recommended that the Government commission an external, independent review on whether its proposals and the costs are the only viable option.

It also says a new cost-benefit analysis should be carried out before the final national broadband contract is signed.

The committee also says the Government should re-engage with the ESB to examine the best model for delivery of a new plan through the ESB.

The report concluded that the original terms of the tender were too narrow.

Committee recommends broadband network remain in public ownership (RTÉ)

Earlier….

David McCourt with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a Science Foundation of Ireland event in New York, March 2018

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment is sitting in private session today to discuss the National Broadband Plan and vote on a number of proposals in respect of the same.

It follows the committee carrying out an investigation into the plan and, in May, the Government awarding preferred bidder status to consortium Granahan McCourt, led by US businessman David McCourt.

Journalist Aisling Kenny told RTÉ’s News at One that chair of the committee, Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton wants the committee to support her recommendation that the Government press ahead and sign the contracts as soon as possible.

Ms Kenny reported:

“She [Naughton] says there is no evidence to indicate any reliable, cheaper alternative to the National Broadband Plan.”

Ms Kenny also reported that other proposals include recommending that the State own the broadband infrastructure – after it spends €3billion on the plan.

Currently, it’s planned that, in the end, Granahan McCourt will own the infrastructure.

Ms Kenny reported that the committee’s final conclusions should be made public later this afternoon.

Committee vote due on State ownership of broadband network (RTE)

Listen back to News at One in full here

Previously: “There Should Be Judge-Led, Public Inquiries Into The Broadband Plan And The National Children’s Hospital”

22 thoughts on “Still Loading

  1. phil

    Fair play to Naughton, Former school teacher and trained soprano, seems to have full confidence in the advice she was given, now I wonder who gave the the advice that there ‘is no evidence to indicate any reliable, cheaper alternative’ …

    Reply
    1. V

      What’s her relationship
      If there is any like

      To former Minister, and no stranger to Granahan McCourt and the National Broadband handy gig, Denis Naughton

      Reply
  2. eoin

    Look, can people stop being snippy about the members of the Oireachtas communications committee which is today recommending the way forward for the €5 (five) billion National Broadband Plan, it’s making committee member and lynchpin TD on which the minority government is 100% dependent, Mr Michael Lowry very upset, so it is. [Almost as upset as he was when Aodhan O’Riordan called him a “convicted criminal”? Damned right! https://www.kildarestreet.com/sendebates/?gid=2018-10-16a.79 ]

    Reply
  3. eoin

    Hmmm, looks like the report is calling for the €5 (five) billion National Broadband Plan to be kicked into touch AS LONG AS THE REVIEW predates the award of the contract.

    “In the report, the committee has recommended that the Government commission an external, independent review on whether its proposals and the costs are the only viable option.

    It also says a new cost-benefit analysis should be carried out before the final national broadband contract is signed.

    The committee also says the Government should re-engage with the ESB to examine the best model for delivery of a new plan through the ESB.

    The report concluded that the original terms of the tender were too narrow.

    It found that the lack of research into the actual cost of the final project proved to be a structural flaw and it said this lad to bidders withdrawing.

    The report says Granahan McCourt will recoup its money within seven to eight years and retain full ownership, while at the same time while at the same time the State will have invested almost €3 billion with no ownership rights.”

    Reply
  4. Ron

    This is what happens when an impotent Irish electorate vote for inept, incompetent, political daw jaws. It’s called cause and effect.

    Don’t forget to react with an angry face emoji online before you all go vote for these goons again. Ya can’t fix stupid amongst the electorate and that’s the only root cause

    Reply
  5. eoin

    So, has the shady Richard Bruton announced he will hold off signing the €5 (five) billion deal with the Boston private equity group, until the “external, independent review on whether its proposals and the costs are the only viable option.” is completed? It would be a wocious waste of money to sign a deal with McCourt/O’Brien only to find out a few months later, the contract could be delivered for one fifth of the price.

    Reply
    1. Liam Deliverance

      I fear they will try and get this signed before Dail resumes, is that possible or does the house need to be sitting?

      Reply
  6. Liam Deliverance

    “The €5 billion figure implies the preferred bidder – the consortium led by US businessman David McCourt – is investing €2 billion in the project.

    In an interview last year, Mr McCourt said his consortium was planning to invest only €1.1 billion – €600 million of which would be bank debt. However, that was before his final-stage negotiations with Government.”

    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/government-will-not-own-broadband-network-when-built-1.3885462

    “Fianna Fáil communications spokesman and member of the committee Timmy Dooley said Mr McCourt should answer committee members’ questions about the €5 billion plan.

    National Broadband Ireland is the preferred bidder in the ongoing tender process for the NBP and therefore it would not be appropriate for either me or members of my team to attend at this time.

    “My senior management team at National Broadband Ireland (NBI) are more than willing to appear at an appropriate time in the future – once the tender process has concluded.” ”

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/broadband-plan-bidder-s-ceo-declines-to-appear-before-oireachtas-committee-1.3944675

    Either the government pays for it all and owns it all or Granahan Mc Court is given 10 years to make back some profit before it then reverts to government ownership, anything else is madness. The finance minister, high up officials in Public Expenditure and Reform and now a Communications Committee made up of TD’s et al have said this is bad deal. If they try to sign off on this it’s the biggest two fingers they have given us in a long time. Keep in mind that we are where we are based on a flawed and mismanaged tender process by the government in the first place. Add in Eir’s late and somewhat idiotic offer to do it for E1B, a fifth of the price, and add in DOB potential hand in the whole thing. I thought ESB were going to make a statement on the issue at one point but they never did.It’s one think looking back at some scandal that has happened, an entirely different thing looking at one about to happen and still doing nothing about it.

    This has INCOMPETENCE and CORRUPTION written all over it and if it goes ahead we should be ashamed that we have no say in the running of our own state, a state that is ultimately funded by our hard work and these people get to pee it away. Also we are essentially rewarding this behavior by a lack of heads rolling and perpetuating the culture that leads to the next billion euro rip off of taxpayers. The phrase RIP OFF IRELAND has new meaning when viewing the NBP and NCH projects. When will we ever learn?

    Reply
  7. Truth in the News

    How could it take 5 Billion to connect up around 550 Thousand premises when Eir
    are connecting around 300 thousand for a fraction of this, anyways the Government
    has not got the funds of, 5 B, then we have the ESB picking off, of selected high
    population area’s with a tie up with Vodaphone, if an infant state in the 1920’s
    could establish an authority to develop electricity services, there is no reason why
    they cannot in 2019 do they same with communications, at he end of the day its
    part of the strategic infrastructure of the country no less than the Army or the Guards.

    Reply
  8. Increasing Displacement

    This is sickening

    Where is the logic of paying for it if we don’t own it?

    This is strategic infrastructure, a utility in some countries.
    And will become more important in the future.

    Reply

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