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Questions remain over capacity to deliver rural broadband – Mary Lou McDonald TD

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Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that questions remain over the capacity of the government to deliver rural broadband under the current National Broadband Plan.

Ms McDonald described the plan as “flawed” and accused the government of failing to address the question of capacity and ability to deliver.

The Sinn Féin President said:

“Today we received confirmation that the Granaghan McCourt consortium will invest a mere €220 million as part of the proposed National Broadband Plan. Meanwhile the Irish taxpayer is liable for €3 billion for a plan which has significant flaws that no one in government seem capable of addressing.

“The bidding process completely failed to deliver a competitive tender. The fact that the bidder doesn’t have adequate skin in the game and could walk away from this project after they’ve recouped their investment remains a significant concern.

“It remains a very real possibility that this flawed plan will see rural Ireland left in the lurch, without access to high speed broadband for years to come. Communities need reassurance around capacity to deliver and they are not getting it.

“There are alternatives which the Taoiseach appears to have already dismissed out of hand. Nonetheless Sinn Féin will move a motion in the Dáil which calls for the appointment of ESB to deliver high speed broadband to every home, farm and business in rural Ireland.”

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