The Government has been criticised over funding of the national broadband plan, with Fianna Fáil's communications spokesperson saying the money required is not being provided.

SSE has withdrawn from its consortium with Enet as the final bidder for the plan, placing pressure on the Government.

Every home and business was intended to have high-speed broadband by 2020 under the Government plan.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Timmy Dooley said the challenges and complexities around the plan as referred to by Minister of State for Rural Affairs Sean Kyne can all be addressed by Government.

Yesterday, Mr Kyne told RTÉ News that there will be a final tender for the broadband plan in the autumn. 

He said: "I believe we are fully on track to the commitment given by Minister [Denis] Naughten earlier in the year, that we will have the final tender in the autumn and that we will be assessing it with a view to signing a contract as soon as possible." 

Today, Mr Dooley said the Government needed to sit down with providers and to accept that if highspeed broadband is to be rolled out that there is a cost involved.

He also criticised the tender process, describing it as convoluted, adding that the process was promised in 2012 but only got under way in 2014 and said the final tender had not yet been received.

Mr Dooley said: "Fine Gael has not provided the hard cash to make the promise and that's why the ESB, and Vodafone under the banner of SIRO, and then Eir, and now SSE have withdrawn from the project.

"Because they don't believe that it's viable. Now they can't all be wrong... They have come to the conclusion with all the information available to them that the Government is not putting up enough money to make it happen." 

Meanwhile, the chair of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators has said Minister Kyne now needs to press on with the broadband plan tendering process and see what Enet can or cannot deliver.

Speaking on the same programme, Ronan Lupton said it is possible Enet will have to partner up with another commercial provider in order to be able to deliver what is being asked in the tendering process.

He said he believed that there would be further delays in the rollout of the plan, and said that in his opinion the estimated cost of delivery would be around the €1bn mark.

Mr Lupton said it is known that it would never be commercially viable to deliver broadband to the most rural parts of the country, and that is why the Government introduced the plan.

He said taxpayers’ money had already been spent on getting the plan to where it is now and said it should not just be "dispatched as a political football".

The Chief Executive of ISME, Neil McDonnell has said the only credible option the Government has now in order to provide broadband to the entire country is to reverse the sale of what was the national telecommunications company, Telecom Éireann.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Miriam, Mr McDonnell said that the current tender process for the national broadband plan needs to be fundamentally revised.

He said the issue now was that there was an "increasingly narrow base of people willing to invest in the network."