Saturday 24 August 2019

Broadband call 'timed to avoid election battering'

Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley. Photo: Tom Burke
Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley. Photo: Tom Burke
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Fine Gael has been accused of timing the decision on the future of the roll-out of rural broadband to prevent its local election candidates being "battered" on the doorsteps during the campaign.

Fianna Fáil communications spokesman Timmy Dooley made the claim as he argued people are "infuriated" by the National Broadband Plan (NBP) process, which has been hit by delays and difficulties and has only one bidder left in the competition.

He said the Government is poised to make a "massive over-investment" for a network the State won't even own.

The Government is expected to sign off on the preferred bidder for the NBP within weeks, for a project which will cost as much as €3bn over 25 years. Some Government officials have reportedly raised concern that the NBP won't offer value for money.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said he will be "taking account of all of the advice that is given to me" and Cabinet will be "well informed" when it makes its decision.

Irish Independent

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