Cork North West TD, Aindrias Moynihan has said that many homeowners are deeply worried about the delivery of the National Broadband Plan following the decision of SIRO to pull out of the tender process.
“With one of the three bidders pulling out, this is a further reduction in the potential capacity of the remaining consortiums to deliver the high speed quality broadband to rural Ireland.
“Many people in rural communities in west and north Cork have been in touch with me and are very worried and frustrated.
“Eir’s work in rolling out broadband on a commercial basis is a decent start for some communities; however, there are many villages and townlands outside Eir’s scope of work. People living in these areas are very worried that the state’s broadband rollout won’t reach them for many, many years.
“Today’s announcement by SIRO doesn’t come as a major surprise to me. There have been rumours over the last number of weeks and months that the National Broadband Plan was in trouble, and this decision further highlights the dysfunction at the heart of this government initiative.
“The convoluted, ham fisted and drawn out process under the watch of successive ministers has clearly forced SIRO’s hand in this matter.
“The net effect of this is a reduction in competition, and more than likely will lead to a spiralling in costs for taxpayers.
“More than ever, it’s time to release the tender documents, and announce the timelines for the start and completion of the National Broadband Plan.
“With just two potential bidders now in the mix, the imperative must be to award a tender as quickly as possible, and deliver broadband to the over 500,000 people desperately in need of a quality service,” concluded Moynihan.