National Broadband Plan not dead in the water, says Taoiseach

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The Minister Of State at the Department of Communications believes the government will be in a position to sign a contract on the national broadband plan by the end of the year.

SSE became the latest company to withdraw from the tender process, with Enet the last remaining firm bidding for the business.

The opposition has been strongly critical of the Government's approach to the issue, while there have been calls for a special cabinet meeting to be held.

Minister of State Sean Kyne insists the government is working to connect people as soon as possible.

He said:

We do understand that those who are left without are deserving and will be connected to high-speed broadband as soon as possible and the first step is to ensure that we get the contract signed and we expect to have that done by the end of the year.

The National Broadband Plan is not dead in the water, according to the Taoiseach.

Doubts about the plan have strengthened as SSE pulled out of the consortium heading the last bid for the contract.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar denied the entire plan for rural broadband is now dead in the water.

He said: "I actually spoke to Minister Naughten this morning just to get a briefing from him on the National Broadband Plan.

He tells me his officials are very confident that the fact the composition of the consortium has changed, it doesn't affect the project itself and he still expects that by September we will be able to announce a preferred bidder."

- Digital Desk

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