The construction phase of metropolitan area networks (MANs) encompassing five key towns in Cavan, Louth and Monaghan has begun following the signing of a Works Contract by Communications Minister Noel Dempsey TD yesterday.
The new networks will be built in the following north-east towns: Castleblaney, Clones, Cootehill, Baileborough and Ardee.
The networks will consist of high-speed fibre and wireless masts in the towns. They are to cost an estimated €8m. Construction is due to start in July 2006 and will be concluded in summer 2007.
Some 90pc of the cost of the project is co-funded by the Department of Communications and the EU under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. Monaghan, Louth and Cavan County Councils will fund the remaining 10pc.
Dempsey commented: “The MANs programme will deliver high-speed fibre optic cable infrastructure in over 90 towns and cities including the five networks here in the north-east.
“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.
By John Kennedy