Rural people 'desperate for assurance on future of broadband', say TDs
The Government is facing renewed Dáil pressure over the controversial National Broadband Plan (NBP).
The process of awarding the NBP has been beset with delays and difficulties.
These include two bidders dropping out, the resignation of a minister and fears the costs of the project could soar to as much as €3bn.
Now the Social Democrats co-leaders Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall have tabled a Dáil motion demanding Communications Minister Richard Bruton provide an "immediate update" on the status of the awarding of the contract.
They are also seeking an assurance that Mr Bruton and his department have been satisfied as to the competitiveness of a process with only one bidder.
They also want a statement from the minister on a report drawn up by the NBP's independent auditor Peter Smyth.
Mr Bruton's predecessor as communications minister, Denis Naughten, resigned after it emerged he had meetings and dinners with David McCourt, the businessman leading the last remaining consortium in the process.
Mr Smyth's report cleared Mr Naughten and Mr McCourt of improperly affecting the tender process. He also found Mr Naughten was correct to resign in order to insulate the process from "apparent bias".