(Issued 31 January, 2018) The board of eir has decided to withdraw as one of the bidders from the National Broadband Plan (NBP) tender process. Since the company was shortlisted as a bidder some 18 months ago, eir has worked through the formal dialogue channels to try to ensure that the NBP not only delivers on the policy objective of providing high speed broadband throughout Ireland, but that it does so in an efficient and cost effective manner. Based upon the significant commercial issues and complexity within the tender process, together with growing uncertainty on a range of regulatory and pricing issues that reside outside of the NBP process, the company's board has decided that the risks are too great for its continued participation in the NBP. Therefore, eir has reluctantly taken the difficult decision to withdraw from the tender process.
eir will continue to play its part in delivering high speed broadband for all and will support the NBP process through commercial access to our infrastructure and the company remains committed to working with key stakeholders to ensure that high speed broadband is available to all corners of the country. In the past five years, eir has invested €1.6bn to improve the telecommunications infrastructure in Ireland, in what has been one of the largest infrastructure investments in the country in recent years.
This has delivered high speed broadband to 1.7m premises to date. eir also remains fully committed to completing the rollout of high speed broadband in rural Ireland through the commitment contract it signed with the Government in April 2017 to deliver speeds of up to 1,000Mb/s to 300,000 rural homes and businesses. Upon completion, 80% of premises in Ireland will have access to high speed broadband.
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