Cabinet to discuss ESB telecoms service
Plan is one of a large number of items for discussion before Ministers break up for the summer holiday
ESB’s telecoms subsidiary is seeking to build a €400 million super-fast fibre network in partnership with a private telecoms operato
The Cabinet will discuss proposals today to empower the ESB to deepen its involvement in the telecoms sector, an initiative with potential to bring fast broadband more cheaply to rural areas.
The plan is one of a large number of items for discussion before Ministers break up for the summer holiday. There may be a further Cabinet meeting on Thursday to deal with any business not reached today but the next scheduled Government meeting is not until September.
The ESB initiative will be brought to the Government by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte.
The State electricity company set up a telecoms subsidiary in 2001 but the company is now seeking to build a €400 million super-fast fibre network in partnership with a private telecoms operator. Both Vodafone and BT Ireland are in contention for the deal.
The expansion of the ESB’s presence in the telecoms sector comes as the Government proceeds with the disposal of its power station interests in Amorbieta, Spain, and Marchwood, England. Although the Government’s agenda in the autumn will be dominated by the Seanad referendum and Budget 2014 on October 15th, definitive decisions are unlikely today on these fronts.
Also on the agenda today is a proposal to scrap the County Enterprise Boards, 35 of which have been in place for 20 years.