Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 5 June 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment
National Broadband Plan: Discussion
Ms Connolly would have to say the gap was wide. It is €2.95 billion which is a wide gap to fill. That effectively is what has happened.
I refer to the ownership model as set out in the contract. After 25 years the company or whoever the company sells it on to will own it. The facts are that the taxpayer will cough up €2.95 billion and that the board of NBI will have nine people on it, eight of whom will be appointed by the bidder and the financiers. The financiers will provide the lesser part of the finance required, namely, €200 million. I know the point has been made that over the term of the contract other moneys will come in, but they will come from customers. That is from where they will come; it will be day-to-day revenue. The State will cough up €2.95 billion, yet it will not own a metre of cable, one pole or a yard of ducting. On the other hand, there will be a board overseeing the project that will be made up of nine people, one of whom will be representing the Oireachtas, the Minister, Joe and Mary public and the taxpayer. Does Ms Connolly consider that is a sound business case with which to move forward and a good outcome for the taxpayer?