Thursday, 15 July 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
I welcome what the Minister stated to the effect that there will be a timeline for the evaluation and that the body in question, with its new tasks, will be back in operation. These organisations and companies are looking for a clearing house for dealing with the issues that exist. We know the situation in respect of National Broadband Ireland. There are two parts to that. One involves delays relating to Covid-19, which we expect to be dealt with in the first six months. Then there is the wider issue of accelerating the programme, which will probably involve years 6 and 7 being done in years 4 and 5. As already stated, we need a clearing house to deal with any issues that arise.
We recognise that section 254 guidelines have streamlined the matter of planning permissions across the State and for local authorities. There are still major issues, however, and local authorities are not fully structured from the point of view of delivering major strategic infrastructural projects across the State. We need this up and running as quickly as possible. We then need to be able to offer interim solutions for those people for whom the National Broadband Ireland roll-out will take a long time and the latter will be need to be done by that task force.