County Antrim

Reference Library – Northern Ireland – County Antrim

'It's full steam ahead'

2Denis Naughten Source: Oireachtas TV COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER DENIS Naughten has dismissed calls by Fianna Fail for a review of the tendering process for the National Broadband Plan, saying it would cause further delays. Last night Fianna Fail’s communications spokesman Timmy Dooley brought a private member’s motion calling for the government to immediately stall the procurement process and review what has gone wrong in the roll-out of broadband.

In response, Naughten said that to conduct such a review would set back the whole process by six months, and would suggest that the sole remaining bidder for the tender is “not a suitable bidder”. “This is a group with considerable international experience,” he said.

The fact is that the Fianna Fail motion would push this procurement process into 2019, and plunge the entire project into uncertainty.

Naughten defended his record regarding the broadband rollout, saying he is “the only TD who has consistently pursued this issue for the last two decades, and the record supports that”. The latest estimate for delivery rollout of the broadband plan is 2023. Speaking on RTE Morning Ireland[1] today, Naughten said that “we’re now at the end of the process”.

“It’s taken 25 months to get to this stage. At first we didn’t know the best possible solution,” he said, adding that that solution (fibre-based broadband) had been arrived at during the process.

Enet is the only bidder left in the process, they submitted their last amendments to the contracts a number of weeks ago. From now, it’s full steam ahead.

He added that he expects the vast majority of homes in Ireland to have full access to a high-speed network within two years.

“I would expect nine out of 10 homes will have access to high-speed broadband, with the final homes getting access to high-speed broadband soon after that,” he said. Withdrawal Last week, Eir announced that they were withdrawing their bid for the Rural Broadband Plan.

The company has already rolled out fibre broadband – which is a higher quality, higher speed broadband, to 70% of homes across Ireland – but about 540,000 homes and businesses still remaining to be connected. The National Broadband Plan aims to give 750,000 premises nationwide a minimum download speed of 30Mbps. This also covers Irish businesses that currently have no access to broadband from commercial operators.

Eir, having proceeded with its own rural broadband rollout which took 300,000 premises off the list for the State-subsided National Broadband Plan (NBP), was thought to have been the most likely winner of the tender, but since its withdrawal there is now only one remaining company in the tender process – Enet.

Read: Why did Eir quit the State’s broadband plan, and what now for rural Ireland?[2]>

Read: Sinn Fein politician defends describing Northern Ireland as a ‘putrid little statelet’[3]

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References

  1. ^ RTE Morning Ireland (www.rte.ie)
  2. ^ Why did Eir quit the State’s broadband plan, and what now for rural Ireland? (www.thejournal.ie)
  3. ^ Sinn Fein politician defends describing Northern Ireland as a ‘putrid little statelet’ (www.thejournal.ie)

Naughten pours cold water on Fianna Fáil calls for review of National Broadband Plan

2Denis Naughten Source: Oireachtas TV COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER DENIS Naughten has dismissed calls by Fianna Fail for a review of the tendering process for the National Broadband Plan, saying it would cause further delays. Last night Fianna Fail’s communications spokesman Timmy Dooley brought a private member’s motion calling for the government to immediately stall the procurement process and review what has gone wrong in the roll-out of broadband.

In response, Naughten said that to conduct such a review would set back the whole process by six months, and would suggest that the sole remaining bidder for the tender is “not a suitable bidder”. “This is a group with considerable international experience,” he said.

The fact is that the Fianna Fail motion would push this procurement process into 2019, and plunge the entire project into uncertainty.

Naughten defended his record regarding the broadband rollout, saying he is “the only TD who has consistently pursued this issue for the last two decades, and the record supports that”. The latest estimate for delivery rollout of the broadband plan is 2023. Speaking on RTE Morning Ireland[1] today, Naughten said that “we’re now at the end of the process”.

“It’s taken 25 months to get to this stage. At first we didn’t know the best possible solution,” he said, adding that that solution (fibre-based broadband) had been arrived at during the process.

Enet is the only bidder left in the process, they submitted their last amendments to the contracts a number of weeks ago. From now, it’s full steam ahead.

Withdrawal

Last week, Eir announced that they were withdrawing their bid for the Rural Broadband Plan. The company has already rolled out fibre broadband – which is a higher quality, higher speed broadband, to 70% of homes across Ireland – but about 540,000 homes and businesses still remaining to be connected. The National Broadband Plan aims to give 750,000 premises nationwide a minimum download speed of 30Mbps.

This also covers Irish businesses that currently have no access to broadband from commercial operators.

Eir, having proceeded with its own rural broadband rollout which took 300,000 premises off the list for the State-subsided National Broadband Plan (NBP), was thought to have been the most likely winner of the tender, but since its withdrawal there is now only one remaining company in the tender process – Enet.

Read: Why did Eir quit the State’s broadband plan, and what now for rural Ireland?[2]>

Read: Sinn Fein politician defends describing Northern Ireland as a ‘putrid little statelet’[3]

Get breaking news from TheJournal.ie via Facebook.
Just click Like.

References

  1. ^ RTE Morning Ireland (www.rte.ie)
  2. ^ Why did Eir quit the State’s broadband plan, and what now for rural Ireland? (www.thejournal.ie)
  3. ^ Sinn Fein politician defends describing Northern Ireland as a ‘putrid little statelet’ (www.thejournal.ie)

Northern Ireland’s Secretary of State compared marriage equality rights to having fast broadband

David Reddish Helping to further the reputation for Northern Ireland’s[1] bonkers political history, Karen Bradley, sitting Secretary of State for the British province, has compared[2] same-sex marriage[3] to a fast internet connection. Bradley raised the puzzling parallel in a radio interview with a Belfast station, waxing philosophical, “It’s not for me to impose in the same way it’s not for me to impose the way that super-fast broadband is rolled out across the country.”

In other words, Bradley punted, falling back on a talking point that the rollout to marriage equality[4] should be left to Northern Ireland’s First Executive. At present, the office remains unfilled following a scandal and resignation of former First Executive Martin McGuinness. Ongoing disputes between political parties and the British government overseen by Prime Minister Theresa May have prevented the position from getting filled.

Opponents of marriage equality, despite overwhelming support from the public,[5] have used the collapse of the McGuinness government as a way to block implementation of same-sex marriage. To her credit, Bradley has voted in favor of marriage equality in the past during her time as an MP. Northern Ireland, with its history of religious violence, remains the only UK province yet to put marriage equality in place.

Her comparison to broadband, however, suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of the role marriage plays in a healthy society. After all, waiting for inheritance rights or medical power of attorney isn’t quite the same as opining for a better internet connection with which to get faster porn downloads. As Secretary of State, Ms.

Bradley could use her power to hasten the rollout of marriage equality, thus granting same sex couples their rights under the law. Instead, she has let politicking dictate her actions. At present, it remains unclear when a new First Executive could take office.

Call that the luck of the gay Irish.[6]

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References

  1. ^ Northern Ireland’s (www.lgbtqnation.com)
  2. ^ has compared (www.pinknews.co.uk)
  3. ^ same-sex marriage (www.lgbtqnation.com)
  4. ^ marriage equality (www.lgbtqnation.com)
  5. ^ despite overwhelming support from the public, (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
  6. ^ luck of the gay Irish. (www.lgbtqnation.com)
  7. ^ Share on Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  8. ^ Share on Twitter (twitter.com)