Yesterday, the Irish 2017 Budget was announced, and due to the lack of price raising in both petrol and alcohol - it was all received rather well.
After everything was said and done, however, a post-budget conference took place in which Minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten spoke about the National Broadband Plan, and led us to believe that the people of rural Ireland should expect further delays to the commencement of the process of extending efficient-working internet to the whole of the country.
A whopping €5 million was allocated to the process in 2017, bringing the total figure dedicated to the Broadband Plan to €15 million.
The issue, however, lies with the procurement process.
Minister Naughten commented that even though the plan is underway, the process is both "complex and risky". He stated that his department would not rush this aspect of the National Broadband Plan and that some of the bidders are looking for extra time with this very important step.
that's why I'm not making promises that I cannot stand over
— Denis Naughten (@DenisNaughten) October 12, 2016
Meaning that work on the National Broadband Plan may not begin until the year 2018, leading us to believe that a completion date would be somewhere around 2023 - a much later date that the initial completion deadline of 2020.