Sunday 22 September 2019

Broadband plan boss attacks criticism

Stock image / PA
Stock image / PA
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

The Government's National Broadband Plan programme director has dismissed recent criticism of the rural rollout scheme as "nonsense".

Fergal Mulligan, one of the figures at the helm of the process for several years, made the remarks on Twitter.

"A lot of theoretical nonsense," he wrote.

"These guys have no understanding of the telecoms market which is very complex as you know and we have just dropped nearly 20 million getting the best advice possible from people that do understand telecoms."

Mr Mulligan, who was unable to be contacted for further comment, was referring to a critical report on the scheme in 'The Sunday Business Post'.

A spokesman for the Department of Communications confirmed that the tweets came from Mr Mulligan, who also described the current bid as the only realistic option for rolling out state-backed rural broadband to over one million people. "A decision on the only game in town will hopefully be made in the next couple of weeks," he tweeted.

The Government says fees associated with the broadband plan have cost €22m. "This includes the cost of corporate finance and economic advice, technical support and network design, the cost of legal advice, environmental advice and process auditor costs," said a spokesperson.

"These services were procured by way of competitive tender. In addition, the Department has staff and other administrative costs, along with travel and expenses costs for the independent Steering Group members and event costs related to the NBP."

Irish Independent

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