Rollout of national broadband - Get on with it

Former minister for communications Denis Naughten

According to reports, a review of the procurement process for the National Broadband Plan does not find that it was undermined by contacts between former minister for communications Denis Naughten and the businessman leading the only remaining consortium bidding for the strategy.

That’s a relief for him, but also for those businesses and individuals who have been waiting for years for a proper broadband service nationwide. It is now time to get on with it and put Irish communications properly into the 21st century.

The question is how this can be done quickly. Up to now, the focus has been almost exclusively on providing fibre-optic services to homes and businesses. But new technologies, like the 5g mobile network, should not be ignored. Eir has plans for 5G next year, while, in the North, Belfast is one of the six cities in the UK included in the first phase of the rollout of 5G by BT’s mobile network, EE.

At the end of the day, broadband users will not care whether their service is provided by cable or mobile, so long at it is affordable, fast, secure and, above all, reliable.

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