#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 15°C Tuesday 17 May 2022
Advertisement

Minister 'disappointed' with broadband rollout delays as firm says completion dates uncertain

National Broadband Ireland told an Oireachtas committee that issues have arisen with the rollout that are “beyond our direct control”.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

THE COMPANY CHARGED with delivering the State’s rural broadband plan has said it “is difficult to predict completion dates” for thousands of customers  “with absolute certainty”

National Broadband Ireland (NBI) told an Oireachtas committee that issues have arisen with the rollout that are “beyond our direct control”. 

Peter Hendrick, CEO at (NBI) said that the company has encountered “a number of issues” as it rolled out the network.

“While this is inevitable in the early days of delivery of a brownfield project of this nature, I appreciate that it can cause some frustration when seeking to communicate with stakeholders,” he said. 

Answering Questions in the Dáil this afternoon on the National Broadband Plan, Minister of State for eGovernment Ossian Smyth said he is “disappointed” that the project is behind schedule, but said the government is keen to drive on with the project with an “aim of getting it back on track”.

A number of TDs spoke in the Dáil about concerns from their constituents about the pace of the work, the lack of timeline, and the patchy nature of some of the coverage around the country.

Hendrick told the committee today that Covid-19 as well as planning issues has delayed the rollout, but the CEO said it is now ramping up again, stating that 154,000 premises have been constructed or under construction.

The original plan would have seen approximately 180,000 premises at this stage of
the programme, he explained.

Around 54,450 premises are currently able to place their order via their preferred retail
service provider, while 454 Broadband Connection Points, including schools have been installed by NBI, the committee was told.

His comments about the progress of the plan comes as the government published legislation this week to allow for the right to request remote working from your employer.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Government has also been placing a big focus on remote working hubs around the country – all of which will rely on fast and reliable internet connections. 

The opening statement also criticised recent media coverage of the NBP shareholder structure and the nature of the subsidy payment. 

Speaking in the committee today, Hendrick also sought to reassure members that the “the ownership structure remains as it was at the signing of the contract” amid reports in the media raising questions about shareholders.

“I want to make it abundantly clear and categorically put on the record that the subsidy
provided by the State is in satisfaction of NBI delivering defined milestones under the
Project Agreement.

“NBI has not been and will not be paid by the State if it does not deliver
these milestones,” he said.

Read next:

COMMENTS (41)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel