Fitzmaurice: ‘We need to ask hard questions on broadband’

Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway Michael Fitzmaurice has said that the National Broadband Plan that is being rolled out by Government must ensure that every home has access to quality broadband services. 

  Deputy Fitzmaurice has called into question the feasibility of the NBP (National Broadband Plan) and whether it will deliver what it promises.

  “Minister Denis Naughten and his Department have embarked upon an ambitious plan for broadband services that is commendable but we have to ask, is it achievable? Given how close we are to completing the tendering process and awarding the contracts, we need to ask the hard and uncomfortable questions.

  “Already this year we have had the plan reviewed and found that 170,000 premises were categorised incorrectly. What if, during the roll-out of the plan, there are more premises found to have been incorrectly categorised; who’s going to pick up the tab and who is going to deliver broadband to these homes and businesses?

  “In Comreg’s Q3 report, only published last week, it showed no increase in the number of premises connected with fibre.  Despite all the launches and press statements from Eir and Siro in respect of FTTH (Fibre to the Home) either no one can avail of this service or no one is signing up. If huge players like these can’t get this working in built-up areas, how can it work in rural Ireland?” he asks.