Digiweb invests in 140km Dublin fibre network

21 Nov 2006

Irish broadband player Digiweb has contracted Irish fibre network provider euNetworks to build a 140km fibre optic Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) that will circle Dublin. The value of the investment was not disclosed.

The “self-healing” 140km network links Digiweb’s new data hosting facility in Blanchardstown with all the major data centres across Dublin as well as the main business parks.

Digiweb says the network also connects to local telephone exchanges within Dublin to enable local loop unbundling (LLU).

Ownership of a dark fibre rink provides Digiweb with a carrier-class fully meshed infrastructure that scales with the company’s expansion plans, said the company’s head of strategy John Quinn.

“EuNetworks was of the very few providers positioned to offer us our own private fibre solution which allied to our national and European growth plans. The simplicity and cost efficiency of dealing with one single provider under one single service level agreement was very compelling,” Quinn said.

EuNetworks is a subsidiary of former CA Ireland boss Noel Meaney’s Global Voice family of businesses.

Global Voice came into being after Meaney acquired the former assets of Metromedia after leading a management buyout.

Prior to the buyout by GV, Metromedia had spent €650m deploying data centres and fibre infrastructure across various European cities including Dublin. Before its parent firm fell into financial difficulties, Metromedia was close to completing a US$110m investment in Ireland, consisting of a US$75m data centre and a US$45m fibre ring that stretched for 100km around Dublin City.

Meaney’s GV listed on the Singapore stock exchange in October 2004 through a reverse takeover of Horizon Education and Technologies. Early last year, GV achieved revenues of €20.4m and surpassed forecast revenues by more than 15pc.

The company now has fibre networks across 14 European cities, which provide access to key locations within a city including business and industrial parks, educational centres, financial centres, government buildings and internet exchanges.

In February this year, Global Voice acquired the assets of a major inter-city fibre optic network across Europe called Viatel in a cash deal valued at €25m. The network was originally built at a cost of €1.2bn.

The acquisition made Global Voice the owner and operator of one of the largest and most technically advanced fibre optic and metropolitan intercity networks in Europe. The network covers France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and the UK across 6,800km.

It includes two undersea cross-channel cables linking continental Europe with the UK and adds a client base that generates recurring revenues of around €2.6m a year.

By John Kennedy