As of today the Government has signed us up to the most expensive broadband plan. Its going to cost a Whopping €3 billion to connect up half a million rural households. It follows a “flawed” bidding process which left only one bidder- investment firm Granahan McCourt which is a US based company in the running… As the rules say the choice of one is not a choice -start the process again. No-one knows why the other bidders pulled out Eir, the ESB and so on, when so much money was involved.
Eir-Eircom said later that they could connect up the remaining rural households for about €1 billion which is at a third of a price of McCourt’s National Broadband Ireland . So it is quiet a steep price for rural broadband.
Another point to be raised is that we (taxpayers) don’t own the broadband infrastructure and are basically shelling out for something we don’t own and the contractor can sell it after nine years and own it outright after twenty five years . Shelling out €3 billion of taxpayers money is extraordinary arrangement when it should be done with private capital in the first place.
Eir/Eircom is the national telephone company it was their job to connect up the nation to high speed broadband, when the company (then Bord Telecom) was privatised it should have been made clear that no “cherry-picking” would be allowed instead they just connected the towns and the countryside was deemed commercially unviable . That shouldn’t have been allowed.
A few years ago Bupa (British healthcare company) wanted to sign up the younger clients but were told their policies would have to be “community rated” meaning the young pay for the old and Bupa would have to give money to other Healthcare companies with older clientele. They subsequently pulled out of Ireland (Rep). Where is the “community rating” for broadband ?
Why was Eir allowed to cherry -pick ? They could have made the costs back by selling digital/online services such as tv, music, downloading etc …
The whole process is costing the taxpayer a fortune when it could have been done for a lot less.
Some links of Interest