Sunday, August 18, 2019

Almost twice as much funding will be allocated in rolling out the National Broadband Plan in the Rebel County than in Galway and Mayo.

Cork (€290m) is the largest recipient of funding from the plan, followed by Galway (€152m) and Mayo (€151m).

National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is the preferred bidder for the state’s multi-million euro rural broadband scheme.

The scheme aims to deliver high-speed internet to around 540,000 homes and business across the country, largely in remote areas where commercial operators do not currently provide the service.

The county by county funding figures were contained in a submission made by NBI to the Oireachtas communications committee which is investigating the National Broadband Plan before a contract is signed later this year. Its report is due to be published early this week.

The cost to the exchequer of the scheme, is now projected to be in the region of €3 billion, a multiple of the original estimate.

In the latest series of spending review papers, the Government said additional funding of up to €477 million will be required for the initial rollout over the period 2019 to 2022, and a total of €1.6 billion up to 2027.

This is on top of the €800 million already allocated for the scheme under the National Development Plan (NDP), the Government’s strategic development and climate emergency plan, which runs to 2027.

However, the Government insisted the additional funding will come from future revenues, which would be incorporated into its multi-annual capital ceilings and would not affect any of the other planned projects within the NDP.

No other projects will be delayed or rescheduled, and no other changes will be made to the capital allocations for other projects as set out in the NDP as a consequence of the Government’s decision to proceed with the National Broadband Plan,” said Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe.

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