Broadband decisions will 'shape our world' into next century

Bruton says will not speak to junior Minister over contract due to 'interference' view

Minister for Communications Richard Bruton says he cannot make a decision on the provider until a complete evaluation is concluded. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Minister for Communications Richard Bruton says he cannot make a decision on the provider until a complete evaluation is concluded. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

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Minister for Communications Richard Bruton has defended the Government’s broadband plans saying that he cannot make a decision on the provider until a complete evaluation is concluded.

He also said he would not speak to Cabinet colleague Minister of State Pat Breen about his relationship with the final bidder for the National Broadband contract, US businessman David McCourt.

Independent auditor Peter Smyth will examine whether the private meetings between Mr McCourt’s consortium and the previous minister Denis Naughten had contaminated the tendering process for the NBP.

Mr Bruton said it would be inappropriate for him to speak on the matter with Mr Breen while Mr Smyth is conducting his evaluation. To do so could be interpreted as interfering with the process, he said.

“I have a responsibility to Government to present that independent evaluation and then the Government will make its decision based on that.

“The Government is absolutely committed to make this investment.”

He said it would be odd for him to speak with Pat Breen, duplicating what Peter Smyth is doing, “otherwise I could be accused of interfering with the process.”

Mr Bruton told RTÉ’s Today with Miriam Show that he is very excited with his new portfolio. “The decisions made in the next while are going to shape our world into the next century. We need to shift the dial here.”

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