Noel Dempsey has really pissed off a lot of rural communities after finally admitting that they won’t invest in the Group Broadband Scheme anymore. Despite telling people for all of 2005 and 2006 that all they had to do was apply for a GBS, the last round to apply was some time in 2005. Since then there has been nothing apart from lots and lots of “coming soon” talk from the DCMNR. Rural communities have been strung along since 2005 and were told round three would open in September 2005. Noel, you’ve deceived 1000s of people desperate to get broadband. I hope the voting public remembers that.
With some creative accounting and spin they have reannounced almost all of the same money for nearly all the same plans already announced. For example, the budget of €435m is over 7 years. That’s €62m a year. The DCMNR was already allocated €48m a year so that’s an additional €15m a year. Right… and with inflation probably going to go way up, that’ll make sfa of a difference.
Now, add to that funding of €170Million already announced for the current building of 27 MANs (the fibre rings around towns which don’t actually connect to homes) and future building of 120 MANs. However, now it seems 80 of these MANs are now part of the latest NDP. No new towns have been announced either for MANs yet some towns could do with fibre rings. I’m not a fan of MANs and they are only once piece of the puzzle to get broadband to the end-user yet the Goverment bills they as solving all issues.