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National Broadband Plan Approved By Government At A Cost Of €3 Billion

The cost of the plan to connect half a million rural homes and businesses is now almost 5 times the initial estimate.

The National Broadband Plan which has been in development since 2012 aims to bring high speed connectivity to half a million homes around the country.

It was initially priced at 500 million euro but earlier this month the Taoiseach confirmed the cost has escalated to 3 billion.

The government has approved a bid led by the last remaining bidder in the process - businessman David McCourt. 

Despite the significant cost to the taxpayer the state will not own the network once it is built.

The Irish Times reports rural based ministers will be expected to take a lead role in convincing the public that the plan represents value for money. 

Just €55 million of the three billion euro of state subvention for a private company, to roll out broadband to 540,000 homes in rural areas, is being spent on providing the service in Wicklow.

Most of the expenditure will be in Cork at €290 million, followed by Galway at €151 million.

However the Communications Minister says the amount of money the winning bidder will invest in the project is private to the company.

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