Publish the Report
Publish the Report
Ireland Offline calls on Minister Rabbitte to publish the report of the Broadband Taskforce before his department makes another irreparable blunder.
Late (yet again)
The report of the Broadband Taskforce, first proposed by Noel Dempsey in 2007, will be concluded, according to Minister Rabbitte, by Saint Patrick’s Day 2012. While this is about five years later than former minister Dempsey anticipated and ten years too late by the standards of any other country apart from Greece perhaps, it is already three months later than Minister Rabbitte himself promised only nine months ago. Are we then to be another consultation short of actually doing something constructive for Ireland Inc ?
The Department of Communications are very difficult to obtain timely and accurate information from, this is a given. The closed mentality and unwillingness to consult has meant that previous schemes lacked either engineering expertise or a willingness on the part of officials to gather knowledge from the public in a meaningful way. We hope that Minister Rabbitte will do better this time. Does the Minister run the Department or do the unnamed, unaccountable departmental officials run the Minister.?
The Minister views partnership with business as a core belief# and his Taskforce has been notable for its exclusion of any consumer or stakeholder representation. Accepting that CEOs of businesses are charged first with providing returns to their shareholders, and to help redress that imbalance, the Minister should at least make the report, and its recommendations, available to the public for a full and inclusive consultation, before any Government decisions are made.
Over the past eight years more than €120M# of public money has been made available for rural broadband. Of that, less than €4M# has actually been spent on broadband worth the name; the rest has either not been spent at all, or spent on technology unfit for purpose. We cannot afford any more waste.
Last Chance for Ireland
A lot of scarce money will be required for a national NGA# project. Ireland will only get one chance to do it right. The Minister and his department, holding the chair of the Taskforce, will have set its agenda. If he intends to exclude the public, he will have to be satisfied that those in his department who delivered the privatisation of Telecom Éireann, are the right people to deliver, unsupervised and unscrutinised, the next big necessary step,in communications development for Ireland.
Minister Rabbitte should publish his Taskforce Report immediately.
(1) interview with RCRWireless
(2) Public funding budgets: GBS €25M, NBS €79.8M, RBS €17.9M
(3) GBS value for money report. 3g (NBS) and satellite (RBS) are midband only
(4) Next Generation Access; estimated minimum €1.5Bn