Too Early to Cost Broadband Plan says McCourt

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.

Read the full article on Independent.ie

Rural broadband now an ’emergency’ issue, warn campaigners

Nationwide roll-out of high-speed network should be non-negotiable, says ICMSA

The government needs to hold an emergency Cabinet meeting to prove to the people of rural Ireland that it is serious about supplying broadband nationwide, Irish Rural Link CEO Seamus Boland has urged.

This comes following a report last week by the European Court of Auditors that predicted that it is “highly unlikely” that the €275m set aside by the Government to supply broadband to every home in Ireland will be enough.

At present, Enet is the only bidder left in the process that should result in 540,000 premises being connected to the National Broadband Plan, following Eir’s withdrawal from the tender in January.

Jump over to Independent.ie to read the full story

Take the broadband blinkers off and stop your digital dithering

The fibre digital infrastructure of the future needs to be given the same priority as roads, water and electricity, argues John Kennedy.

Like most people, when I’m caught off guard by an unusual or innocent observation about something that should appear blindingly obvious, I get slightly irritated.

Unlike most people, however, I also relish these moments because they are a bonus when it comes to insight and perception. Often, they reveal clouded judgement or confusion in the mind of an opponent or a critic. It shows their card hand. But, crucially, it also reveals where problems or confusion exist. In my rule book, there is no such thing as a stupid question – just stupid people who are unable to answer politely.

Check out Silicon Republic for the full article

Millions more required to deliver broadband to every Irish home – EU report

“We must try harder to deliver this key infrastructure.”  MEP Brian Hayes

MILLIONS of euro more than budgeted will have to be pumped into the rollout of broadband in the coming years, an EU report indicates.

The audit of Ireland’s progress in delivering broadband to every home says it is “highly unlikely” that the €275m set aside by the Government will be enough.

It also warns that impact of bidders pulling out from the tendering process is still “unclear”.

Enet is now the sole bidder for the project which should result in 540,000 premises being connected to the National Broadband Plan.

Jump over to the full article at Independent.ie

Ireland ‘unlikely’ to get 100% coverage of fast broadband by 2020

EU report blames public procurement issues for delays, with rural areas lagging behind

While Ireland has passed EU targets for universal access to basic broadband throughout the State, it will have difficulty reaching the same targets for fast broadband by 2020, and reaching even half that level of coverage for ultra-fast broadband, a report by the European Court of Auditors predicts.

Fast broadband coverage – between 30 and 100 megabits per second (mbps) – has risen sharply from 31 per cent to 89 per cent between 2011 and 2017, nine percentage points above the EU average and placing Ireland 10th in the EU league table.

But the report says that “based on past progress and present plans”, overcoming the last hurdle to get to 100 per cent coverage by 2020 is “unlikely”.

Check out the full article in The Irish Times