Broadband plan irresponsible

 

Sir, – It seems extraordinary that our Government should persist with the same attitude of gross irresponsibility it exhibited in the new national children’s hospital debacle when it clearly took its eye off the ball in the context of its failure to consolidate specific contract terms and particularly costs at a timely juncture before the latter escalated to their current meteoric scale. The final fall-back argument used by Government to muddy the waters and to cloud its own omissions in that case was to promote the belief that the necessity for the new hospital far outweighed the issue of the ultimate cost now being flagged.

It seems we are now being told that three billion euro is a fair price to pay to the one remaining sole interested provider to deliver a rural broadband plan in the absence of a competitive tender process at this point. Again we are faced with a colossal amount of taxpayer funds relative to our country’s size being remitted to an investment entity which most likely will only be interested in “flipping” its investment at the soonest favourable opportunity. This will entail a short-term commitment only by said entity and most likely for a system that will in the short term also be outmoded, if not obsolete, in the face of newer technology due to come on stream soon.

One can only hope that the powers that be will wake up to reality and see that their position may not always be as tenable as it presently appears and that a significant section of the electorate have long memories. – Yours, etc,

FRANK SLOWEY,

Gorey,

Co Wexford.