Why did Labour kick broadband ownership decision beyond 2016 election?

In Blog, Infrastructure by Denis Naughten

I’ve been amazed at some of the commentary this week by former Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD.

Brenda has taken a new found interest in the ownership model on broadband infrastructure but yet has failed to explain why he and then Communications Minister Alex White, decided not to make a decision on the ownership model for the National Broadband Plan when he had the opportunity to do so, before the procurement process started in December 2015.

Brendan Howlin failed to point out that he and his Government collagues were presented with 5 ownership options for the broadband infrastructure, and I understand that the consultants who produced the report, KPMG, favouring the current ownership model for the broadband roll out.

I also understand that questions were raised within the Labour Party about the ownership models that were included in the procurement process that the then Communications Minister Alex White, launched in December 2015, following approval by the Cabinet including Brendan Howlin.

Government at the time were informed that the key difference between the two (ownership) options is that under the Full Concession model the Government would take ownership of the assets funded at the end of the contract term whereas under the Gap Funding model the Winning Bidder(s) would retain ownership of these assets after the expiry of the contract.

If Brendan Howlin was so concerned about what Fine Gael might do, why did he not make the decision on the ownership model before the procurement process started, rather than kick that decision down the road until after the 2016 election?

Not only must Brendan provide answers to this decision but he must also explain his role in the sell off State-owned telecoms assets by Coillte at a time, in 2015, when they could have been key to the delivery of the National Broadband Plan

See more at: https://denisnaughten.ie/2019/05/12/howlin-must-explain-his-role-in-selling-state-owned-telecoms-assets-naughten/