Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 5 June 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment
National Broadband Plan: Discussion
I refer Ms Connolly to the advice KPMG provided in the ownership report of 3 July 2015. On page 24, there is a description of ownership options and the key principle set out in that chart states that "intervention is structured so that the subsidy provided is the minimum amount necessary to allow for infrastructure development by the private sector whilst ensuring that the returns earned by the private sector are reasonable." The second principle is that "the private sector will be able to incorporate the infrastructure created into its operation permanently (with the exception of accounting separation for infrastructure created) with there being no requirement to return the asset post contract." Is it not the case that the general thinking at the time was that the best value for money from the State's perspective would be obtained by virtue of existing infrastructure and therefore the incorporation of this new contract into an existing infrastructure had the best potential to return best value to the State? Was that not the general thinking at the time? There was existing infrastructure in place from at least two companies and those two companies competing against each other had the potential to provide a competitive environment and give best value to the taxpayer.