Naughten Resignation Proof that Broadband Process is “rotten to the core” – Matt Carthy MEP
Speaking following the resignation of Dennis Naughten Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West said:
“It appears clear that we have yet to see the full scale of the mismanagement issues related to the National Broadband Plan. The entire process has been rotten to the core.
“This debacle has it’s roots in the Fianna Fáil decision to privatise Telecom Eireann (latterly Eircom). Rural communities were always going to be left behind when the profits of multinationals prioritised public service provision.
“In recent days alone, the Minister for Finance poured further doubt onto the delivery of any infrastructure by attributing a measly €87 million to the scheme. The cost of the NBP is widely accepted to be in the region of €1bn!
“The resignation of the Minister will be of little consolation for those 540,000 homes and businesses waiting to be connected to 21st century technology.
“The coming period will be vital if there is any integrity at all to be restored to the National Broadband process.
“As it happens I am still waiting for a comprehensive answer from both the European Commission and the European Investment Bank as to why Cube Infrastructure Managers were chosen to disburse a multimillion euro broadband fund at EU level while they were bidding for a takeover of Enet at national level.
“It is highly dubious in fact, that Cube were chosen through no proper procedures of public procurement and are now involved in a legal case with Granahan McCourt over the sale of these shares.
“The primary lesson from this entire mess it is that the only way to adequately deliver universal essential public services, which is what broadband has now become, is through state-run schemes apart from private investors who will always prioritise their own profits. If the government are not willing to learn this lesson they should allow the people the opportunity to pass judgement on their failed philosophy”.