Construction has commenced on a series of new metropolitan area networks (MANs) around key Galway towns Ballinasloe, Loughrea, Athenry, Clifden and Gort. It is understood that Galway County Council has signed a Works Contract with KN Networks to construct the MANs.
The five new networks will cost €7.09m and will consist of high-speed fibre and wireless masts in the towns. Up to 90pc of the cost will be covered by the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and co-funded by the EU under the National Development Plan 2000-2006.
Announcing the latest construction phase, Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey TD said: “The MANs programme will deliver high-speed fibre optic cable infrastructure in over 90 towns and cities including the five networks here in Galway.
“I see broadband infrastructure as a key strategic priority for the country. It is a key enabler in attracting inward investment and in the development of indigenous industry,” Dempsey said.
The Mayor of Galway Cllr Michael Mullins said that broadband is now an essential core infrastructure requirement for all aspects of business, both for small to medium enterprises and multinationals.
“Speedy access to information is one of the key drivers for all sectors of the economy and Galway County Council is fully committed to facilitating this demand with its participation in the rollout of this programme in Co Galway,” Mayor Mullins said.
The county manager of Galway Pat Gallagher said Galway County Council expects to deliver the five networks to the towns by early 2007. “This will allow enterprises in these towns the earliest opportunity to connect to a world-class fibre network,” he said.
By John Kennedy