- Eir’s withdrawal creates a ‘one horse race’
- Inevitable delays and setbacks
- SME’s cannot compete without a modern communication network
ISME, the Irish SME Association today (2nd February) expresses its concern at the latest developments in the National Broadband Plan. The Association fears that Eir’s withdrawal from the tendering process will delay the scheme to 2023, and will deliver only at a greater and unknown cost. This delay will greatly impact businesses and homes throughout the country.
The withdrawal of Eir from the National Broadband Tendering process is the latest in a string of failures that let down the people, the SMEs and organisations they work in and buy or consume services from.
ISME has serious reservations about the way the Department of Communication, Climate Action & Environment is running the current tendering process, and we call for a review of this.
ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said “Yesterday’s announcement is a blow to the rollout of the National Broadband Plan and raises many questions about the manner in which the Department of Communication (DCCAE) is running the process. Eir’s withdrawal will bring unanticipated costs, unacceptable delays and as things stand, makes the bidding process a one-horse-race”.
“Our most recent research on broadband services among our members shows that 29% have inadequate broadband services. Yesterday’s announcement will prolong this poor level of service. This is unacceptable.”
ISME Council Member Ross McCarthy of Keystone Procurement said “SMEs are the backbone of the rural economy and cannot compete without a modern communications network.”
“From a procurement perspective, ISME has had reservations since the State gave Eir low hanging fruit to connect to high speed broadband. While this may have been done to speed up roll out, the risk was always that others in the process would be left with more difficult, costly connections to deliver”
“ISME is further calling on the immediate prioritisation of the main towns in each county that do not already have high speed broadband coverage for provision, and that clear timelines be set for the servicing of these towns.”