Fast broadband, quick bucks and another PR bellyflop

Inside Politics: where did it all go wrong for the broadband plan?

Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe rejected advice from a senior civil servant about the broadband plan. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe rejected advice from a senior civil servant about the broadband plan. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The controversy surrounding the huge cost of the National Broadband Plan is growing nearly as quickly as the list of zeros at the end of bill. Our main story today discloses the final cost of the project may be up to €5 billion, which suggests a €2 billion investment by the consortium led by US businessman David McCourt.

The Government yesterday released a tranche of documents relating to the awarding of the contract. The most interesting was a letter from Robert Watt, the secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure, raising serious concerns about the project and strenuously objecting to it.

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