A distraction - Broadband delivery

The cabinet yesterday considered the report from independent auditor Peter Smyth into the tender process for the State’s rural broadband scheme.


The report concluded, though this finding may not be universally accepted, that former communications minister Denis Naughten did not have any information that could have compromised the process. If he did not have that kind of information was he doing his job properly? If he did not have it, who did?

A second finding, that his go-it-alone dinner meetings with American businessman David McCourt, who leads the Granahan McCourt consortium, the only bidder for the €3bn scheme, were unwise is easier to accept. Mr Naughten’s earlier indiscretions did not help his case either.

Broadband delivery has been a defining failure for successive governments. Mr Naughten’s difficulties (which made his resignation necessary) were a fleeting distraction and from the pressing issue — delivering broadband to rural Ireland. It’s time to get back to the grindstone and do what should have been done years ago.

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