The men behind the wire: National Broadband Ireland is struggling to hit its connection targets, but its leadership insists that it can catch up

The company has two key tasks to get to grips with to ease the level of scrutiny it’s currently facing. Firstly, it has to convince observers that its financing arrangements and ownership structure are all in order and then it has to reach far more homes and businesses with its network as quickly as possible.

David McCourt: the actual number of broadband connections is a touchy subject for the chairman of National Broadband Ireland. Picture: Julien Behal

David McCourt appears in a flash and is gone almost as quickly. “How was your tour? Was it useful?” asks the Bostonian heading the state’s multibillion-euro National Broadband Plan.

“When they give you the real numbers, maybe you can use them, as opposed to what was in today’s papers. We’ll give you the first quarter numbers, you’ll have current construction numbers,” he continues.

McCourt was referring to recent reporting in other outlets, which he claimed ...