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National Broadband Plan could cost €3bn, says Varadkar

The Taoiseach has confirmed the cost of the National Broadband Plan could be around €3 billion.

It had been hoped Ministers would unveil details of the project this week but it has been delayed until after Easter.

The original cost of the broadband plan was projected to be half a billion euro.

Leo Varadkar has confirmed in the Dáil it is going to be much more than that.

"As you know, the cost including VAT contingencies and so on could be in the region of €3 billion albeit spread over 25 years," said Mr Varadkar.

Again, bear in mind the benefits - 540,000 homes, farms and businesses, over a million people. A huge project, a huge scale.

Earlier today, Sinn Féin described the National Broadband Plan as being caught between a fiasco and a farce.

Sinn Féin's Communications Spokesman Brian Stanley says there needs to be more clarity on the timeline.

"The fact that we were promised that we would have the National Broadband Plan tender done and dusted back last year and then before Christmas and then in January and then we were promised that it would happen before Easter," said Mr Stanley.

"It appears that the whole process is in trouble.

"The fact that we do not have a competitive tender. The fact that there is only one bidder left in it, it can't be a competitive tender.

"It seems to be caught somewhere between a fiasco and a farce."