Cable & Wireless has connected Ireland to its global tier one backbone, which it says will connect Ireland directly to the same backbone as major content providers such as Google, Yahoo! and Hotmail.com.
According to Cable & Wireless senior vice-president William Hoyle, some 60 customers of the company are already being upgraded to the tier one network known as Global.net. The upgrade brings to €100m the amount invested by the company in Ireland in recent years. “More than half of all online content viewed by Irish users originates outside Ireland, so good quality access to internationally hosted content is vital for business users,” Hoyle said.
The company has had a presence in Ireland for over 115 years, since the company laid its first trans-Atlantic cable in 1866. It has since grown to become a major telecoms carrier with more than 100,000 customers in 70 countries worldwide with more than €5.9bn in annual revenues.
The upgrade to tier one backbone will also prove vital to Ireland’s efforts to secure foreign direct investment. An example of this was the recent win by the IDA of Google, which will locate a 500-job internet mirroring facility in Dublin. Gareth Murphy, director of Cable & Wireless Ireland confirmed that the company’s global accounts division has been in discussion with Google about providing the world’s biggest search engine with connectivity in and out of Ireland.
Minister for Information Society Mary Hanafin TD said that the upgrade “adds significant value to Ireland’s rating as a world internet city.”
Quoting research from Nielsen NetRatings, Cable & Wireless marketing manager Neil Johnson said that over 55pc of Irish internet users target sites based in North America, followed by 37pc targeting sites located in Ireland and 8pc access sites in Europe.
By John Kennedy
Pictured are William Hoyle and Gareth Murphy of Cable & Wireless along with Mary Hanafin TD