Exodus of EIR from rural broadband procurement programme “a calamity” – Sherlock

‘Leaving only one company in the running has the potential to scupper the whole project.’

Sligo News File

The withdrawal of EIR from the rural broadband procurement process has been branded “a calamity” by the chairman of the ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock.

Commenting this afternoon, he said plans for the rollout of the

Seamus Sherlock, Chair, ICSA Rural Development Committee.

service had been beset with delays but that the move by Eir, “leaving only one company in the running, has the potential to scupper the whole project.

Farmers and small businesses around the country are being held back by the lack of broadband, he said.

“Farms, businesses and entire rural communities are being left behind which is completely unacceptable in this day and age.”

The submission of applications for schemes online is, he said, rendered impossible where broadband facilities are not laid on.

The withdrawal of Eir means the consortium led by energy group SSE and telecoms firm Enet is now the sole remaining bidder, he said. “This is a real concern.

“Over 500,000 homes and businesses in rural Ireland are now reliant on this consortium. Where will we be if they too pull out and even if they remain in the process how can we expect to get a fair result in a one horse race?”

Mr. Sherlock said he is calling on the Minister with responsibility for the rural broadband project Denis Naughten “to clarify the situation as matter of urgency.”