National Broadband - is this amazing leadership, electioneering or a corrupt waste of tax - what do you think?

The NBP as is currently proposed looks like a bad deal for the tax payers

  • Yes

    Votes: 21 75.0%
  • No

    Votes: 7 25.0%

  • Total voters
    28

Disillusioned democrat

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Last week we heard that the government will decide next week whether to proceed with the NBP, but that all the signs were they would, despite senior officials questioning if it represented good value for money.

The stories doing the rounds are not for consumption by tax payers with high blood pressure - we'll pay €3bn but own nothing (like NTR), Denis O'Brien is in the picture (like IW) and the bidding process is massively flawed (like Project Eagle) and it's costs have spiraled out of control (like the NCH) - basically it's the perfect case study of our state's massive failings.

Now I don't have a crystal ball, so maybe they'll pull the plug, but if they do proceed they'll be taking on huge responsibility - well, insofar as any Irish politician takes responsibility for anything - Bertie still has a pension many CEO's would envy as a salary despite leading the country over a cliff - but they'll be opening the book on their collective legacies.

So - is this ballsy leadership, yelling "damn the torpedoes" to make sure rural Ireland get's brought into the 21st century, is this still just kite flying to see what the reaction might be - and then doing as Varadkhar does best, lead from well behind his "followers", is this just electioneering to make LE19 and (maybe) GE19 easier for FG's rural candidates or is it just another way to funnel billions of tax payers' euro into the usual suspects' pockets?

 


Degeneration X

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Last week we heard that the government will decide next week whether to proceed with the NBP, but that all the signs were they would, despite senior officials questioning if it represented good value for money.

The stories doing the rounds are not for consumption by tax payers with high blood pressure - we'll pay €3bn but own nothing (like NTR), Denis O'Brien is in the picture (like IW) and the bidding process is massively flawed (like Project Eagle) and it's costs have spiraled out of control (like the NCH) - basically it's the perfect case study of our state's massive failings.

Now I don't have a crystal ball, so maybe they'll pull the plug, but if they do proceed they'll be taking on huge responsibility - well, insofar as any Irish politician takes responsibility for anything - Bertie still has a pension many CEO's would envy as a salary despite leading the country over a cliff - but they'll be opening the book on their collective legacies.

So - is this ballsy leadership, yelling "damn the torpedoes" to make sure rural Ireland get's brought into the 21st century, is this still just kite flying to see what the reaction might be - and then doing as Varadkhar does best, lead from well behind his "followers", is this just electioneering to make LE19 and (maybe) GE19 easier for FG's rural candidates or is it just another way to funnel billions of tax payers' euro into the usual suspects' pockets?

To be fair many ex-CEOs in the financial services sector have pensions even Bertie would envy despite leading their firms over a cliff.
 

wombat

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We have yet to see what the proposal is and what the alternatives are. There is a lot of talk about running cables up the side of mountains but we are a long way from that, maybe after every school and post office have broadband, it will be time to worry about people on the side of mountains?
 

Disillusioned democrat

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We have yet to see what the proposal is and what the alternatives are. There is a lot of talk about running cables up the side of mountains but we are a long way from that, maybe after every school and post office have broadband, it will be time to worry about people on the side of mountains?
The decision will be made next week - there'll be no consultation or plebiscite, just a blank check to the consortium. There's an estimate of €3bn against this now and it looks like fibre for all, every outpost in Christendom
 

Dame_Enda

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Edit: changed mind.
 
Last edited:

Orbit v2

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I don't question whether there should be a NBP or that it won't cost a lot of money, but it seems absolute madness to spend 3 billion and not own it at the end of the concession period.
 

wombat

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I don't question whether there should be a NBP or that it won't cost a lot of money, but it seems absolute madness to spend 3 billion and not own it at the end of the concession period.
I'd question the ownership too although I'm inclined to wait to see what's in the plan. They are talking about spending €3 b over 20 years but I doubt that will be a linear spend, probably something like €2 b over 5 years and 20 years is a long time, who knows where technology will be then, maybe the infrastructure will be worthless?
 

Buchaill Dana

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Im undecided on this. There seem to be flaws, but they also do need to roll the dice and get going on it.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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This article suggests it's very much down to electioneering....€3bn of someone else's money a small price to pay to avoid a "drubbing" in the local elections.

Despite the Sec Gen of DEPR Robert Watt advising the plan should be abandoned.

 

wombat

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This article suggests it's very much down to electioneering....€3bn of someone else's money a small price to pay to avoid a "drubbing" in the local elections.
Despite the Sec Gen of DEPR Robert Watt advising the plan should be abandoned.
Maybe the timing is political but like with the children's hospital, the only decision is whether to go ahead or not. I still think we need to see the proposal before we can question whether it should go ahead or not, its always questionable whether infrastructure is good value or not, the decision is usually whether its needed or not.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Maybe the timing is political but like with the children's hospital, the only decision is whether to go ahead or not. I still think we need to see the proposal before we can question whether it should go ahead or not, its always questionable whether infrastructure is good value or not, the decision is usually whether its needed or not.
I don't think you're going to see the proposal before they make up their mind later in the week, but the thing is, by the time this succeeds or fails those involved will be on massive pensions, free to join boards, etc., while the state is committed to spending the money...it seems like there's some kind of governance mechanism missing where "future us" can not judge the really bad mistakes of "current leaders".
 

basketcase

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I think 5G will have overtaken the need for fibre by the time any government gets the finger out, just signed up with Imagine, who are targetting blackspot rural areas for broadband coverage such as where I live, 150mg (at least 80 at peak times when I've tested it) &
very stable service - even during the storm at the weekend. Fibre will never be economically feasible in many rural areas at this rate,
at the very least the methods of delivering rural service should be revised to make sure that they still are the most cost effective available.
 

wombat

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I think 5G will have overtaken the need for fibre by the time any government gets the finger out,....... Fibre will never be economically feasible in many rural areas at this rate,
at the very least the methods of delivering rural service should be revised to make sure that they still are the most cost effective available.
Must admit that internet cabling is not something I know much about although I know at hom,e running a cable between my cable box and the computer improved the speed several times over using WiFi. I see two questions, Is broadband an essential service? maybe but its certainly important and certain to become more so. Is what's proposed the best option? we don't know until we see the proposal.
 

basketcase

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Must admit that internet cabling is not something I know much about although I know at hom,e running a cable between my cable box and the computer improved the speed several times over using WiFi. I see two questions, Is broadband an essential service? maybe but its certainly important and certain to become more so. Is what's proposed the best option? we don't know until we see the proposal.
Yes, for sure fibre is the most reliable way of delivering service - I'd favour it myself if it was available, however, we've been waiting since 2003 and we both work from home so, to have 150MG service available even wirelessly is a complete revelation for us! Increased number of masts, limited amounts of users on each one etc and I think that very stable, reliable wireless internet could be rolled out in the countryside very
cost effectively and quickly by the looks of it. Access to Eir broadband has decreased rather than increased in the 15 years I've been living in my home - we used to have 16MG broadband from them via phoneline in 2003/2004 then this decreased to speeds resembling dial up and we
were told the had "split the line" - whatever the hell that means & the service was no longer available for us :rolleyes:.

Then we had a local cowboy install his system (€800 installation fee) and 3.5MG speeds (never reached that speed, more like 2MG & also €60 per month) with the worst customer service imaginable...people in our area are rolling out red carpet for Imagine vans :LOL:

I'd argue that yes - Broadband has actually become an essential service over the last 10 years, everyone uses e-mail etc & you must have
acceptable speeds, even in private homes.
 

wombat

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I'd argue that yes - Broadband has actually become an essential service over the last 10 years, everyone uses e-mail etc & you must have
acceptable speeds, even in private homes.
Most of us use internet for entertainment but I heard someone list the variety of health related applications that are being developed and which will be used within 5 years, a lot of standalone devices not dependent on using a computer. Given that we have a lot of old people living in isolated country areas, I can see both advantages and necessity for broadband in future.
For example, I am wearing a 24hr blood pressure recorder at present which will be returned to the doctor tomorrow. It would be quite simple to link such a device to the internet and allow a medical centre to monitor in real time, I'm sure there are other devices which could also transmit realtime information.
 

basketcase

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Most of us use internet for entertainment but I heard someone list the variety of health related applications that are being developed and which will be used within 5 years, a lot of standalone devices not dependent on using a computer. Given that we have a lot of old people living in isolated country areas, I can see both advantages and necessity for broadband in future.
For example, I am wearing a 24hr blood pressure recorder at present which will be returned to the doctor tomorrow. It would be quite simple to link such a device to the internet and allow a medical centre to monitor in real time, I'm sure there are other devices which could also transmit realtime information.
Certainly we use our internet for entertainment, however a lot of the business of private householders can be done online, revenue related transactions, banking, medical card applications - all sorts of useful services are online. Utilizing these types of services is very convenient, reduces carbon footprint for those of us living in the country and I think good broadband is just one aspect of keeping rural
Ireland alive in a sustainable way. Your blood pressure monitor idea sounds like a good one and some health insurance providers now offer video calls with doctors for out of hours acute illness - all good services dependent on broadband access.
 

Round tower

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They have being doing this in our area at the moment, its a line that runs on along with the telaphone lines between poles as how it works as for how u get connected to it on the way
 

wombat

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Certainly we use our internet for entertainment, however a lot of the business of private householders can be done online, revenue related transactions, banking, medical card applications - all sorts of useful services are online.
One possible interim solution would be to provide broadband to a local school and make it available in the evening. We all used internet cafes in the past, it might be an opportunity to replace the village pub as a social centre?
 


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