February 26, 2024

Vulture funds must not be allowed to hi-jack our broadband: Kilkenny election candidate

VULTURE funds must never be allowed to control the new national broadband network and profit on the back of a €3 billion taxpayer-funded investment, a local election candidate has warned.

Trade union official and Labour Party candidate Denis Hynes said he welcomed the Government’s €68 million investment to deliver broadband to every home, businesses and farm in Kilkenny.

Mr Hynes told KilkennyNow.ie: “While out canvassing in Castlecomer and throughout North Kilkenny, the amount of homes that I’ve come across that have major problems with broadband is unacceptable. We need high speed rural broadband to be delivered as soon as possible and all the parties in Dáil Éireann agree on this.”

But he said the Government must provide a guarantee that private investors and vulture funds will not be given control of the broadband infrastructure in the future.

“The plan of providing broadband to homes by private investors means that they can sell their shares – and this could result in vulture funds getting hold of the broadband company,” Mr Hynes (pictured below) added.

“The minister can only block the sale from happening for up to nine years so this strongly implies that broadband will be sold at some point in the future.  We cannot allow a private monopoly to run the network as once it’s privatised, there’s little doubt that we, the customers will be exploited down the line.

“We are all only too well aware of what happens when private monopolies take control of public bodies. I am pushing for broadband to be delivered as soon as possible, but we must protect the public interest. We can’t find ourselves in a situation where broadband is provided but is suddenly not affordable.”

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