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Minister Alex White Initiates High Speed Broadband Procurement in 2016

Updated Intervention Strategy and Procurement Process for the State Intervention to deliver 100% broadband access by 2020.

 

Tuesday 22 December 2015

 

Minister for Communications Alex White TD, today (Tuesday 22 December) has formally opened the procurement process for the State Intervention to provide high quality, high speed broadband nationwide by 2020.  The Minister described this as a "defining moment for our citizens, the telecommunications sector, and for our economy" which marked the beginning of "the largest and most significant broadband intervention ever in Ireland".

Today, Minister White:

  • Formally launched the Procurement Process with publication of the Project Information Memorandum and the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ).
  • Published  the updated Intervention Strategy, which takes account of  responses to the public consultation and subsequent expert analysis;
  • Published The 2020 High Speed Broadband Map, which follows ongoing engagement with industry and public consultation;
Reflecting on the progress in developing the Government's Intervention Strategy, Minister White said "When I came into office, I set challenging milestones for the delivery of this project. All of these milestones have now been met, culminating in the launch of procurement today".  The Government has allocated €275m in initial capital for the first 1-6 years of the 25 year contract. This is the initial stimulus needed to deliver the infrastructure build-out, to be complemented by commercial investment.

 

The Minister noted that while most of the Strategy was outlined in the July consultation, a number of changes have been introduced, including moving from a 20 to a 25 year contract, a two-lot rather than three-lot approach to procurement and a reduction in the number of ownership options from five, to two.

 

At an event to mark the launch, the Minister commended industry for their very significant investments in the Irish telecoms market to date. "Thanks to accelerated and aggressive investment by industry, approximately 1.2m homes and businesses in Ireland have access to high speed broadband today. That's almost 1m more than in 2010, before this Government took office and it is expected that 1.6m premises will have access to services this time next year".

 

The Minister noted that the 2020 High Speed Broadband Map published today remains unchanged since 2014. A document published with the Strategy today sets out the approach to managing future changes that may be necessary to the High Speed Broadband Map throughout procurement and during the rollout of the high speed broadband network.

 

The Minister said he looked forward to continued positive engagement and co-operation with industry. "Through the combination of industry and State investment, we will ensure that 85% of premises in Ireland will have access to high speed broadband by 2018, with 100% access by 2020" Minister White concluded.

 

ENDS

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