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07.03 7 May 2019


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The Government is expected to give the go-ahead to the National Broadband Plan on Tueday morning.

A number of alternatives have been rejected, despite the cost of the project ballooning to €3bn.

This project would roll out high-speed fibre broadband to more than 500,000 homes across Ireland over the next few years.

Most of those are in rural areas where access is currently poor or non-existent.

But the National Broadband Plan has been mired in controversy.

All but one bidder for the contract pulled out of the race - and the cost to the state has risen six-fold to about €3bn.

When that became clear, the Government began looking at alternatives.

But a final report is expected to warn those alternatives would take much longer, be more expensive and in some cases never deliver broadband to some homes.

They would also possibly run afoul of State aid rules, and require a new procurement process.

Communications Minister Richard Bruton is expected to recommend to his colleagues that the contract be awarded to Granahan McCourt - the lone final bidder for the broadband plan.

The Cabinet is set to meet this morning to rubber stamp the decision.

Reporting by Sean Defoe

 


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Broadband Granahan McCourt High Speed Fibre Broadband National Broadband Plan Richard Bruton

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