Donal Kilduff, Independent local election candidate, has expressed frustration about the National Broadband Plan.
In a press statement, he said: “I can’t believe the way the Government is continuing to mismanage this project after so many years’ delay already.
“Everyone knows that we need to have hi-speed broadband in rural Ireland – we’ve lost enough already in terms of infrastructure and services and we must have this vital piece of infrastructure without delay.
“People recognise the importance of Broadband for the future and I’m hearing this time and time again from people I meet while canvassing. The message to the Government is to please get on with it and stop messing around wasting more time and money.
“I know from running my own business in rural Ireland that high speed Broadband is now crucial infrastructure, it is not a luxury, it is a requisite. We need to be able to conduct business at the speed of thought to remain competitive. It is crucial to ensure that rural Ireland can continue to have access to public and social services on the same basis as all citizens of the State”.
He continued: “The situation in Roscommon at the moment is ridiculous, with access to fibre-based Broadband in some areas and not in others, with no logical pattern or plan as to how this has come about. The answer is to roll out the National Broadband Plan as quickly as possible, even though it may not be perfect, and give every citizen the same access to services no matter where they are”.
Kilduff is also adamant that serious lessons need to be learned from the way this has been handled.
“Coming so soon after the controversy over the cost of the National Children’s Hospital, and the very costly Irish Water fiasco, it is awfully frustrating for people to see this kind of carry-on with the Broadband Plan and we need to learn serious lessons from this.
“I am now calling on the Government to establish a State Project Management Agency to manage all one-off projects of national significance in the future. The procurement and management of large one-off infrastructure projects is extremely complex and its success requires properly trained personnel who have many years experience delivering complex projects on time, in budget and to an agreed scope and specification.
“With the right personnel this agency could save the State a fortune. I do not want to see important projects in the future suffering huge delays and major cost overruns with millions being paid to consultancy firms for little return to the State. The people of Ireland deserve better than this”, he concluded.