Naughten hails ‘historic day for Ireland’
On Tuesday, the Cabinet approved the €3 billion National Broadband Plan, which aims to bring high-speed Internet to more than 540,000 homes, farms and businesses across rural Ireland with the first customers expected to be connected next year but with some facing a wait of up to seven years or more.
Former Minister for Communications Denis Naughten, who quit his ministerial post over a series of controversial meetings with David McCourt, head of the only remaining bidder in the tendering process, Granlahan McCourt, hailed it as “one of the defining days in the history of the country”.
“When I entered Government my absolute priority as Minister was to ensure that high-speed broadband was provided to the more than 540,000 households and more than 1.1 million people in rural Ireland who do not currently have access to this essential service.
“When I left Government this complex procurement procedure was completed and all that remained was to obtain Government approval for the project. Tuesday’s announcement completes this process.
“Just as roads came, and then electricity, broadband will now be delivered to every townland in Ireland and it will leave as lasting a legacy throughout our country,” Deputy Naughten said before adding that a “conservative analysis” regarding the benefits of the plan indicates that the local economy in Roscommon will receive an €8.8 million boost each year.