Clare’s Independent TD claims it would be an appalling failure of the Government, if the the National Broadband Plan has to go back to the drawing board.
Independent TD Dr Michael Harty is commenting after an independent auditor’s report found that meetings between former Minister Denis Naughten and businessman David McCourt didn’t taint the Plan’s tendering process.
As the Department of Communications continues to evaluate the sole remaining bid, Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD, meanwhile, believes the process should be stopped altogether.
While there has been much in the way of a political fallout from the Smyth report into meetings between Denis Naughten and David McCourt, the focus for most people will instead be on the rollout of broadband itself.
Both men were cleared of tainting the process, and now Communications Minister Richard Bruton says his Department will make a decision within weeks on whether they’ll go ahead with the bid led by Mr. McCourt’s consortium.
Today, two of Clare’s TDs are taking differing points of view on what the Department should do.
Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley is questioning whether the sole remaining bidder can deliver broadband to 540,000 homes and businesses.
Others, however, are questioning the wisdom of any further delay in the rollout of broadband, including Independent TD Michael Harty.
He thinks the tender should be assessed, even though he too isn’t convinced that the current procurement process can be successful.