Landmark date or more Government spin?

Fianna Fáil T.D. for Mayo Lisa Chambers has called the Minister for Communications’ National Broadband Plan announcement on what he referred to as a ‘landmark date’ in the process, more Government spin

Speaking on the matter Deputy Chambers said “Minister Naughton announced today in the Dáil Chamber that we have reached a ‘landmark date’ in terms of the National Broadband Plan, when in reality what actually happened was that the only bidder left in the tender process finally submitted its paperwork”. she said

“This does not place us any closer to securing broadband for the countless communities and businesses across rural Ireland. The paperwork still has to be looked at by as the Minister stated, 80 people in his Department, before we even think of the lengthily process of trying to get legislation before the Dáil,” she continued

“We are still looking at 2020 and that’s if we’re lucky. I’m more inclined to lean towards 2022 before we have the service up and running and even then the speeds we are talking about putting in place will become irrelevant, despite the Minister stating the technology will be future proof, I would definitely have my suspicions on that fact,” she said.

“Furthermore, we still have no idea of the cost to the roll-out of the plan and as my colleague Deputy Timmy Dooley said earlier in the Dáil chamber “are people supposed to write a blank cheque?” she stated

“Of course at this stage any news or movement on the plan is good news, and I of course welcome this, but lets not ignore the reality of the situation, saying it’s a ‘landmark date’ is in my view overselling what happened and quite frankly more spin from this Government.” she continued

“I have submitted a number of Parliamentary Questions to the Minister asking him to provide a timeline of the plan along with the cost and when he expects Mayo homes and businesses will have proper access to broadband,” she concluded.