The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure has raised the possibility of reprioritising funds within the National Development Plan (NDP) if additional spending is needed to deliver high speed broadband to over 500,000 households and businesses across the country.

During Minister's Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, Paschal Donohoe also indicated that putting additional resources into the NDP could provide the required finance for the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

His comments come following the publication of a report which concluded that the NBP procurement process had not been tainted by contacts between former communications minister Denis Naughten and lead bidder David McCourt.


Read more: Review finds broadband tender process not influenced by Naughten or McCourt


Mr Donohoe said that a decision on funding would not be made until an evaluation of the tender is completed within the coming weeks.

Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen asked Mr Donohoe about the cost of the NBP and if the cost was to exceed the allocated €275m, would there be provision for that under the NDP.

The minister said the NDP acknowledged that the amount of funding could grow and a decision would have to be made about that.

He added: "If additional funding is required under the National Broadband Plan, it can come from two different areas.

"Assuming we don't increase our level of taxation or borrow more to pay for existing infrastructural commitments, there are two choices open to Government.

"The first choice is to make a decision to put more money into the National Broadband Plan and the National Development Plan.

"That will have an opportunity cost and it would mean there will be other things that money could not be able to be used for," the minister said.