UPC to boost broadband speeds for SMEs

14 Mar 2008

As part of its €350m upgrade of its networks in Ireland, UPC has revealed it has expanded its metropolitan fibre and microwave networks in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway and Waterford and will next month boost broadband speeds for SMEs to between 3Mbps and 12Mbps.

The company said it is planning to upgrade its SME broadband offering from the present 2Mbps, 3Mbps and 6Mbps to 3Mbps, 6Mbps and 12Mbps.

Gavin Smyth of UPC Business told siliconrepublic.com that from early April it will boost its broadband offerings following the switching on of the company’s metropolitan fibre networks.

These new networks include 34 high microwave sites, as well as over 550km of fibre in Dublin, 200km in Limerick and Cork and over 120km in Galway and Waterford.

The investment includes international connectivity to the US, Poland, UK, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, France, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia and the Netherlands.

“As well as products for SMEs, our strategic areas of focus include large enterprises like financial organisations and public sector bodies and agencies,” Smyth said.

Smyth said the new network is based on a Cisco Metro Ethernet technology that allows the company to offer services such as MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) and IP VPN (virtual private networks), which would be ideal for voice and data services, including videoconferencing.

He said as well as striking up backhaul deals with ESB Networks, the company plans to put its own fibre rings into large towns like Sligo, Navan, Naas and Thurles.

It is understood that UPC is also endeavouring to expand its ability to provide internet services wirelessly over MMDS (multichannel multipoint distribution service) aerials.

However, according to a spokesperson, the company is still awaiting a licence decision from the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) to allow it to install a return path to enable internet access by MMDS.

By John Kennedy