Govt Report: Halt building new Metropolitan Area Networks, many should not have happened

Quick Summary of the Summary:
1. 5 Metropolitan Area Networks built and still unused.
2. Halt new MANs being built.
3. The planning for MANs was dodgy.
4. Some of the MANs should be shut down but we can’t or we’ll be sued

All in here 93 page PDF doc.

2. This review recommends that the rollout of MANs in those towns for which Phase 2 MANs are planned but which have not yet started work (or have not yet entered legally binding contracts), should be halted pending a formal case by case evaluation.


The review also found that the planning and selection process behind the MANs were less than fully comprehensive. While there was a substantial amount of analysis
behind the concept (analysis that was borne out by the effectiveness of the MANs in certain circumstances), the selection process used in deciding which town would receive a Phase 1 MAN was not sufficiently thorough.

The lack of appropriate baseline data, and the nature of the selection procedure for the Phase 1, and particularly for the Phase 1A, MANs, meant that a number of inappropriate locations were selected.

4. Any future programme should have an open and transparent mechanism by which it can be closed with a minimum of legal and financial implications for the State, even if that involves a mid life termination clause in contracts.

Well Eamon Ryan when he was in opposition called the MANs into question, this report commissioned before he started his Ministerial job seems to back up what he was saying. Handy bit of money saved here. (Though they were already on hold).

Many of the phase 1 and 1a MANs were built for nothing but political gain with the promise it would bring broadband to voters.

6 Responses to “Govt Report: Halt building new Metropolitan Area Networks, many should not have happened”

  1. Jonathan says:

    Which MANs are currently unused?

  2. Anonymous says:

    An alternative comment on the summary would be:

    1. Just 6.8% of the MANs by km hadn’t yet been used at the time of the study.
    2. Further MAN buildout should be targeted at towns with sufficient urban scale, in line with the National Spatial Strategy.
    3. The selection of towns where MANs were built could have been improved, however the projects came in within Budget, with significant improvement in terms of scale and the MSE enet is projected to move into operating profit before the end of 2008.
    4. Government contracts issued by the Department should be more flexible, and allow for mid-life termination.

  3. Jonathan, if you download and read you will find the answer on P.49

    “The five MANs with no customers cost €5.222 million in grants or 6.67% of the total
    grants paid in Phase 1. The breakdown is as follows:

    • Gweedore 540 €(000)
    • Kiltimagh 683.7
    • Carrickmacross 702.2
    • Monaghan 2,651.1
    • Kingscourt 644.9

    In addition to the towns that have no customers, five other towns have one customer

    • Dungarvan 8,362 (population)
    • Drogheda 35,090
    • Kilkenny 22,179
    • Manorhamilton 1,651
    • Roscommon 5,017”


  4. Michele says:

    The entire thing was farcical.

    We’d love to be able to use the MAN in Carlow, but it only covers a tiny part of the town. Since they didn’t bother liasing with any of the other local authorities we’d have to spend a small fortune to get onto it.


  5. Evert says:

    While the idea of MAN’s in itself was good (i.e. fiber across towns and citoes that were “open” to everyone) the execution and management of the mAN’s has just killed the whole thing off.
    Quite a few MAN’s have are just rings of fiber with no connection to anything else. There is a MAN in Nenagh and one in Birr for instance. Both are i place but when asked if I could connect to them I was told that this was possible but only if I could find an Telco that would provide backhaul connectivity to “d’internet”.
    So now we’re stuck with great masses of fiber doing feck all.
    Loads of money spent at no benefit whatsoever.
    If they couldn’t get this right I can;t see them getting anywhere near fulfiling Ryan’s promise of nationwide broadband by end of 2009.
    he might have great plans but it is still the same old shoddy bureaucrats that are in charge of executing these plans…

  6. SeaSide says:

    “Many of the phase 1 and 1a MANs were built for nothing but political gain with the promise it would bring broadband to voters.”

    And many towns that should have MANs do not have them because there was no political gain