Telecoms regulator ComReg has ditched pricing proposals that would have allowed National Broadband Ireland (NBI) to use Eir's poles and ducts for the rollout of its high speed network at less than prices other telecom firms have to pay.
The move follows the raising of concerns about the plans by the EU, which said it has "serious doubts" about whether they were compatible with union law.
In a letter sent to ComReg last month, the EU Commission said it feared that the proposals could create barriers to the internal market.
ComReg had proposed that because of the "specific and unique nature" of the National Broadband Plan and NBI's role in it, differential, and consequentially lower, prices would apply to its access to Eir’s ducts and poles relative to other commercial operators.
But now the regulator has decided to withdraw the draft plans.
Instead, it intends to revisit the issue of the pricing of access to critical engineering infrastructure in the context of an upcoming Physical Infrastructure Access market review.
In the meantime, current price controls will remain in place.
National Broadband Ireland is currently rolling out high speed broadband to over half a million premises across the country on behalf of the state.
In order to do this, it needs to use Eir’s poles and ducts in some areas.
Meanwhile, Minister for Transport and Communications Eamon Ryan has said he is seeking accountancy and legal advice in relation to the operation of the €3 billion national broadband contract awarded to National Broadband Ireland.
The Minister said that he was happy that National Broadband Ireland are meeting its obligations under what is a "very complicated contract" and process.
However, he said that he has asked his department officials to have the contract assessed to "make sure everything is being done correctly and properly" following media reports regarding the private financing arrangements in the contract.
Mr Ryan said that he has been advised that some fee arrangements are standard and within normal industry practices but that he would not pre-empt the situation ahead of a more detailed analysis.
He said the obligations in the contract are very strong and "we will implement those and ensure they are adhering with their contractual obligations".