Thursday, 18 February 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Leo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
I, once again, warmly welcome the absolute 180° U-turn by Sinn Féin and other parties when it comes to the national broadband plan. This was opposed tooth and nail when we signed that contract in 2019 and now nobody wants to cancel it. We had all the usual conspiracy theories and all the rest of it about how the contract came about and who got it and why, and how somehow things could be done quicker and cheaper, but they could not say how. I welcome the fact that Sinn Féin has now totally U-turned on this and is now a supporter of the national broadband plan which it opposed tooth and nail in 2019.
The Deputies asked many good questions and very technical questions about how we can speed up the NBP. As I said, the money is there. The political will is there. I understand there are technical difficulties because it is such a big project. In my capacity as Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, I will meet NBI. I will see what might be done to speed it up and I will take on board the matters that the Deputies have raised in that regard.