Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

National Broadband Plan

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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183. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will publish an unredacted national broadband contract before Christmas 2021 given it is in the public interest and the contract has been awarded. [62582/21]

Photo of Ossian SmythOssian Smyth (Dún Laoghaire, Green Party)
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The NBP contract is a complex and detailed document which sets out the specific contract terms with NBI in respect of the rollout of the new high speed broadband network under the State led intervention.

The publication of commercial contracts of this nature would not be commonplace but, recognising the public interest and level of State subsidy involved, and in accordance with commitments given at the time of contract signing, a suitably redacted version of the contract has been published. This followed considerable engagement between the Department and NBI and both sets of advisors to ensure that only those elements of the contract which could be demonstrated as commercially sensitive or potentially impacting the ability of the Department or NBI to fulfil their requirements under the contract were redacted.

I am mindful that publication of commercially sensitive information which has the potential to impact the programme would create a precedent which could have consequences for the State’s ability to contract with commercial third parties in the future. However, as indicated in my responses to Parliamentary Questions on 14 December 2021, I have asked my officials to review the current published version of the contract to ensure that the maximum disclosures permissible have been made.


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