Broadband plan: Appointment of bidder for state intervention network enters final stage

It has been confirmed that the appointment of a bidder for the state intervention network in respect of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) is now in the final stage.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton made the announcement in a written statement to the Dáil on Thursday, April 18, after questions on the matter were submitted to him by deputy Brendan Smith.

Smith asked the minister when the tender process for NBP would be finalised and if he was aware of the “ongoing concerns nationally” about the inadequate broadband telecommunications service.

The Cavan/Monaghan TD also questioned Minister Bruton about service delivery and when could every county in Ireland expect to have high-speed broadband infrastructure in their area.

The minister, meanwhile, told Smith that the procurement process to appoint a bidder for the state intervention network is now at the final stage.

He also pointed out that he would bring a recommendation in respect of that to Government shortly.

“In the event a contract is awarded my department will engage with the bidder on the most appropriate deployment across each county,” the minister added.

“This will enable premises in the intervention area to gain access to a high-speed broadband service.”

‘Practical initiatives’

Minister Bruton went on to say that the state’s mobile phone and broadband task force was currently working on “practical initiatives” for premises that are awaiting access to high-speed broadband services.

“Under this task force engagement between telecommunications operators and local authorities is continuing,” he added.

Broadband officers are acting as single points of contact in local authorities for their communities.

“The appointment of these officers is already reaping rewards in terms of ensuring a much greater degree of consistency in engagements.”

Meanwhile, the NBP aims to ensure high-speed broadband access to all premises in Ireland – regardless of location – through commercial investment and state led intervention.

Also Read: Concerns raised on effect of commercial broadband on NBP

“The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector. In 2012, less than 700,000 – or 30% – of all 2.4 million Irish premises had access to high-speed broadband. Today, 74% of premises can access high-speed broadband,” Minister Bruton concluded.