Government's broadband plan ‘won’t face review’ despite defeat in Dail vote today

Communications Minister Denis Naughten will not review the crisis-ridden national broadband plan despite committing to “absolutely” consider a Dáil vote calling for an assessment of the project.

More than 500,000 homes are waiting for high-speed connections under the plan.

Provider Eir withdrew last week from the competition leaving Enet as the sole bidder for the project, to connect mainly rural homes.

Mr Naughten said he would not ignore a Dáil opposition vote today proposing the plan be reviewed.

Earlier, the opposition defeated the Government in the Dáil in a vote over rural broadband.

Minister Denis Naughten

A Fianna Fáil motion demanding a review of the national plan was passed by 77 to 48.

The motion also called for the Government to consider taking the project back into State ownership or to use existing ESB facilities for the roll-out.

A Sinn Féin amendment to the motion added the ownership request.

Despite earlier this week suggesting a review would delay the Enet roll-out for the 540,000 premises, Mr Naughten instead told the Oireachtas communications committee yesterday he would “absolutely” consider the Dáil proposal.

Furthermore, the Government would meet next week, he noted.

“It is not my intention to ignore the Dáil over this,” he told committee members.

* Read Juno McEnroe's further analysis and reaction to this story in tomorrow's Irish Examiner

By Juno McEnroe
Political Correspondent

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