Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has said the writing was on the wall for the Government’s National Broadband Plan as soon as SIRO deciding to pull out from the tendering process last year.

Deputy Dooley was commenting after Eir has decided to withdraw from the process leaving just eNet left as the sole bidder.

“Some people believe that the Government has complicated the process so much that it has become next to impossible for potential bidders to respond in a commercially viable way.

“The question that Government need to answer is are they serious about rolling out broadband to rural communities, and are they prepared to pay for it?

“This represents an unmitigated failure on the part of government, and leaves over 540,000 households in serious limbo.

“I do not believe that the current tender process can continue with just one bidder involved.

“Minister Naughten has presided 20 months of failure in terms of the National Broadband Plan since he became Minister. There is no two ways about it.

“Tonight there’s hundreds of thousands of families, farmers and businesses wondering if they will ever get the broadband they need.

“The Government should collectively hang their heads in shame over the shambles that the National Broadband Plan has become. Promised in 2011 for delivery in 2016, delayed until 2023, and now in doubt – the NBP is one of the greatest government failures in living memory,” concluded Dooley.