Tuesday 22 October 2019

Eir's claim it could have delivered broadband plan for under €1bn dismissed by department

    

Sky Ireland has settled an acrimonious broadband case with the telecoms regulator over access rates to Eir's fibre network. Stock image
Sky Ireland has settled an acrimonious broadband case with the telecoms regulator over access rates to Eir's fibre network. Stock image
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Eir's claim that it could have delivered the National Broadband Plan (NPB) for under €1bn has been dismissed by the Government department overseeing the initiative.

Senior executives from Eir are due to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Communication, Climate Action and Environment this evening.

In their opening address, representatives for the company will say that it could have delivered the NPB for under €1bn, but withdrew because risks had become "too great".

However, the claim has been rejected by the Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, with a spokesperson saying that Eir's bid was "multiples" of €1bn.

The spokesperson said that two draft bids, received from Eir and National Broadband Ireland in September 2017, were broadly similar in terms of the level of State subsidy sought. Eir did not respond to a request for a comment when contacted about the claim last night.

Sources last night said that the figure of €1bn would not have been enough to connect and maintain broadband for more than half a million homes over 25 years.

The value of the contract is capped at around €3bn and will provide high-speed broadband to 540,000 homes and businesses in rural areas across Ireland.

Irish Independent

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