Govt to press ahead with plans to bring fibre broadband to 90pc

7 Mar 2011

In their Programme for Government, Fine Gael and Labour have said they intend to co-invest with the private sector and semi-State sector to bring fibre to the kerb to 90pc of homes and businesses across Ireland.

Under their Programme for Government published today, they said they intend to put in place a commercially-financed investment programme in key networks of the economy to support demand and employment in the short term, and to provide the basis for sustainable export-led jobs for the next generation.

As well as a creating a new State company called Irish Water, which will take over water investment programmes from 34 local authorities, the new Government plans to co-invest with the private sector and commercial semi-States to deliver fibre to the kerb for 90pc of homes and business.

The remaining 10pc will be provided with high-speed mobile or satellite broadband.

21st-century smart grid and BioEnergy Ireland

The new Government also plans to build a 21st-century smart grid, beginning with the handover of ESB’s transmission assets to Eirgrid.

Under the NewERA plan, the Fine Gael and Labour coalition will merge Bord na Mona and Coillte to create a new State company called BioEnergy Ireland, to become a global leader in the commercialisation of next-generation bioenergy technologies.

They propose to finance the investment programme from the sale of certain State assets, including €2bn from the sale of non-strategic state assets, drawing from the McCarthy Review Group on State Assets.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years