Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Change & Environment Timmy Dooley TD has expressed shock after a further delay to the National Broadband Plan was revealed today. The rollout time for delivery of the project has now tripled from three to ten years.
Following the announcement today, Deputy Dooley said, “Fine Gael is now promising to deliver the National Broadband Plan to a third less homes, taking three times longer, and costing six times the original price. On top of that, the state will not own the network built and paid for by the taxpayer.
“One of the most striking facts from today’s announcement is the confirmation that the rollout time for the NBP has now tripled from three to ten years.
“Today’s announcement is another attempt by Fine Gael to make grand announcements without following through on delivery. Before any work can begin a contract must be signed, and we are still months away from signatures on a dotted line.
“The people waiting for broadband need it now, not 2029. They should be rightly sceptical about today’s announcement given the fact that every other timeline on this project has been missed.
“Fine Gael has completely mismanaged this project from the beginning and have wasted taxpayers’ money. Despite numerous calls by Fianna Fáil, the government has continued down the same path. We called for the gap funding model to be reviewed almost 18 months ago but it was ignored. Now its costing €3bn. The Department of Public Expenditure & Reform itself has admitted that the project, as currently constituted, does not represent value for money.
“The advice given to government by the Department of Public Expenditure must be published and the upfront cost of owning the network should be made public. Fine Gael have proven their inability to manage large infrastructure projects – first we have the National Children’s Hospital overrun, now the NBP has fallen victim to gross incompetence. The public deserves better”.