Irish telcos spend €700m a year upgrading networks

28 Mar 2008

Irish telecoms operators are collectively spending €700m a year to build out next-generation networks (NGNs), the Telecommunications Industry Federation (TIF) said today after the industry agreed guiding principles for the future of NGNs in Ireland.

NGNs are expected to transform Ireland’s telecoms landscape and bring a wide variety of new services to Irish businesses and consumers.

The eight guiding principles were agreed by 21 service providers and presented to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan TD.

In response, Ryan said his department will produce a policy paper on NGNs for public consultation on the rollout of high-speed broadband in Ireland.

The chairman of TIF Broadband NGN industry group, Gerry Fahy, who is also head of strategy at Vodafone, said there has been a significant improvement in the availability of broadband in Ireland over the past 12 months.

“There is now almost 90pc broadband coverage across Ireland with almost 900,000 broadband customers. The Government’s National Broadband Scheme, which TIF recommended to the Government, will bring this coverage to almost 100pc in the near future.”

Fahy said Irish providers are currently investing close to €700m per annum in developing their networks, which is a very significant investment.

The vice-chair of the TIF Broadband NGN industry group, Peter Evans of BT Ireland, said: “For businesses, NGNs will improve productivity through faster, richer and more flexible communications with customers, suppliers, partners and remote employees.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured today in Dublin were: John McKeon, head of wholesale at Eircom (chair of the NGN industry group), Gerry Fahy, director of strategy at Vodafone, (chairman of TIF) and Peter Evans, product director, BT (vice-chair of the NGN industry group).