Here something the Government announced in the last two weeks which has gone down like a lead balloon. No wonder with the news that the Government was splurging out over €3 billion euro with its private partner investing only €220 million initially . The deal is so lopsided In the fact that the private contractor gets to own the rural broadband network after 25 years and the state/ public gets to own nothing after the same period. Basically the public has nothing to show for all the money they have invested. The Government has sought to defend their plan but its not the vote getter they had imagined.
This Government has showed little enthusiasm for the public interest with contracts like the National Maternity Hospital to have the nuns as “sole owners” despite the public paying over €350 million to build it, also the National Children’s Hospital at record overspend at € 1.4 billion and counting upwards .
So why are we basically giving over €3 billion away?
There is loads of projects that need to be done but there is “no money” there to do them or so we are told. Everything seems to cost 3-4 times what they would cost anywhere else. The National Broadband plan is quite pricey and there is cheaper alternatives .
Another point to make is that whose job is it really to roll fibre broadband ? The answer is that its Eircom/Eir’s job to roll out broadband anyway and they have been allowed to bail out on people living in rural area’s and cherry pick by just connecting the towns only.
Its not good practice and eircom/eir shouldn’t have be allowed to “cherry pick” as they have. They (Eircom/Eir )are the national phone company and its the phone network that is being upgraded. Eircom/Eir collect the line rental and should be able to supply broadband services such as video calling, cable tv, music streaming etc … over the new fibre optic rural service to help finance the cost. The present “modus operandi” of Eircom/Eir and people in rural Ireland won’t be connected to a phone service. It shows what a disaster the Eircom privatisation really is.