Sunday 24 March 2019

Too early to cost broadband plan says McCourt

Adrian Weckler Technology Editor

The head of the National Broadband Plan consortium has distanced himself from claims the scheme will cost €1.1bn to build.

Enet boss David McCourt was quoted in a UK magazine as saying that the €1.1bn would be divided into €100m up front each from his own Enet, SSE and UK infrastructure group John Laing, with a further €200m for design and construction and the rest in bank debt.

However, Mr McCourt says that the final sums have not yet been settled upon.

A spokeswoman for the Government said that the cost of the scheme has not yet been finalised.

"The full level of exchequer funding required for the National Broadband Plan will only be known after the procurement process has concluded," she said.

"The State-led intervention under the National Broadband Plan is subject to an ongoing procurement process, now in its final stages."

The National Broadband Plan aims to connect 450,000 Irish rural homes and businesses to fibre broadband.

It's a state-subsidised scheme introduced to remedy the lack of adequate high speed private sector broadband provision in rural areas.

The scheme is targeting areas that do not have availability of broadband of at least 30 megabits per second.

The Government says that the bulk of the 450,000 homes and businesses will be connected to the NBP broadband by the end of 2021.

Irish Independent

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