Broadband plan fibres, fees and figures

 

Sir, – Your report (Harry McGee, Home News, May 15th) on the cost-benefit analysis of the National Broadband Plan that was carried out by PwC contains some interesting figures.

You report that the cost-benefit analysis overestimated the benefits of the plan by €1.13 billion and that it was later discovered that costs associated with the project had been overstated by €1.08 billion. You also report that such errors led the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to conclude the cost-benefit analysis was flawed and was not credible.

One figure missing from your report was the fee paid to PwC for their work on the cost-benefit analysis. – Yours, etc,

ROBERT CARROLL,

Harold’s Cross,

Dublin 6W.

Sir, – I just have returned from a week’s travelling in the mountains and fjords of western Norway, north of Bergen on public transport (bus and ferry). I was never out of broadband contact during those travels. Has anybody asked the Norwegians how they do it? – Yours, etc,

Dr CATHERINE SWIFT,

Limerick.

Sir, – The mean- spirited begrudgery about the broadband project is very upsetting for those in rural Ireland who don’t have the “luxury” of easy access to a reliable and fast service.

Too many uninformed and unqualified commentators are finding reasons to criticise the Government for at last promising it to those who badly need it for years now.

None of the critics, the majority of whom live in broadband land themselves, have any alternative to offer other than what amounts to “let yez wait another 10 years and new technologies may appear to put yez out of your misery ”

Specialists have said that this way, albeit expensive, is the only viable way to go.

Can we get on with it? Money needs to be spent now to provide a lifeline for rural Ireland.

The benefits are widespread. For example: People will no longer need to live in the overcrowded broadband areas to work online; jobs will be created in the construction and maintenance; and national and global communication will improve. Everyone will benefit in the long run.

The example of the development of the IFSC comes to mind. Highly criticised at the time, it is now a world-class financial centre. – Yours, etc,

SHEILA DEEGAN,

Dublin 3.

Sir, – When the new State took a huge leap of faith in giving the green, and every other colour, light to the electrification of the country 90 years ago I suspect that it was all done in Government offices between the elected and permanent government, possibly with a little “Yes Minister” thrown in, but I am certain that no consultants, financial gurus or other expensive and unaccountable witchdoctor types were involved.

Is it too much to ask for the same standards and accountability to apply now when broadband is the new “electric light”? – Yours, etc,

JOHN K ROGERS,

Rathowen, Co Westmeath.

Sir, – I see that the Government intends to “ride shotgun” on the National Broadband Plan. Will this lead to a “scattergun effect”? – Yours, etc,

BILLY FITZGERALD,

Strandhill, Co Sligo.

Sir, – With regard to the planned provision of broadband to every home over the next 10 years, I think it is important to clarify the contribution expected from the consumer availing of such a service.

I presume that the cost of providing fibre to a specific home is a function of distance from the nearest node. Towns and villages will be fibre enabled at a much more reasonable cost per user than fibre to an isolated home.

While I believe that the case can be made for a capital subvention from the Irish taxpayer to fibre enable communities, I think that owners of remote homes and the taxpayer should have a clear understanding of the contribution expected from them. – Yours, etc,

KEN HALPIN,

Booterstown, Co Dublin.