Further confusion over Eir’s numbers – Lombard

-   Senator Tim Lombard

More questions have arisen over the figures that Eir presented to the Oireachtas Communications Committee yesterday, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Tim Lombard, who sits on the committee, said: “Eir’s CEO Carolan Lennon stated that the company had spent €70 million on their bid for the National Broadband Plan.

“Over the course of the committee appearance, this was corrected to €17 million. However, it has now emerged that in her appearance before the Communications Committee in September 2018, she said Eir had invested over €7 million in the bid.

“There are serious questions to be answered here. How much did Eir actually spend on their bid? Why the confusion and inaccuracy? What does this mean about other figures Eir used at the hearing?

“Eir made an indicative bid for almost €3 billion for the NBP contract. They are now saying that they could do it for €1 billion.

“When Eir submitted a draft bid to the Department, their bid was comparable to Granaham McCourt according to the Department. Eir had every opportunity to win this contract, but ultimately decided to pull out. Why say now they could have completed the State project?

“At the same committee meeting yesterday, Eir admitted they would collect €1bn from National Broadband Ireland under the National Broadband Plan. This is for the rental of poles and ducts and includes €900m to upgrade the pole and duct network to allow fibre to be rolled out.

“The Department of Communications has written to Eir looking for more details on this, and I welcome that.

“However, the confusion over a fairly simple issue – what Eir spent on its bid – and the wild discrepancy between the three figures demonstrates the need for people to see the details behind Eir’s numbers,” Senator Lombard concluded.

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