Saturday 21 April 2018

Intel warns Government broadband rollout is 'crucial' for jobs

Intel Ireland chief Eamonn Sinnott. Photo: Damien Eagers
Intel Ireland chief Eamonn Sinnott. Photo: Damien Eagers
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Intel executives warned the Government that keeping commitments on broadband rollout is "crucial" to its strategy to create jobs.

It came during a high-level meeting between the tech giant's boss in Ireland Eamonn Sinnott and Dermot Mulligan, the assistant secretary general of the Department of Jobs.

Partially redacted minutes of the May 13 meeting were released to the Irish Independent under freedom of information laws. Three Intel executives met with Mr Mulligan and another official at the Jobs Department.

They discussed the pre-existing Action Plan for Jobs and a department official noted Intel "see driving the broadband commitments as being a crucial issue".

The Programme for Government commits to bringing next generation broadband to every house and business in the country by 2020. There have already been delays in the start of building work for the National Broadband Plan.

A section of the minutes entitled 'costs/competitiveness issues' is mostly blacked out as it is said to be "commercially sensitive". One bullet point does note that Intel is "happy" with the quality of Irish graduates.

The company could not tell the Government if there would be compulsory redundancies in Ireland on the back of global restructuring announced in April. The Intel executives said they expected them to be "largely voluntary" but it would depend on the uptake of the voluntary scheme around the world.

A department spokeswoman confirmed it still did not have details of the precise number of redundancies here.

An Intel spokeswoman said it had not publicly disclosed the number of redundancies made around the world "and will not be doing so". She said it employed about 5,200 people in Ireland.

Intel is worth €1bn to the economy, according to a report by accountancy firm PwC quoted in the minutes.

Irish Independent

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