Data tapestry of Ireland: 9 data carriers connecting Ireland with the world

16 Feb 2017

Image: alexskopje/Shutterstock

In our latest Data Week list in this series, we bring you nine players who connect the internet to Ireland and Ireland to the internet.

There are many components that make up the data industry, from software companies to cloud players, data centres, telecoms companies and more. As part of Data Week, we are listing all the major constituents of the industry in Ireland.

On Monday, we provided a list of the top players in telecoms, on Tuesday, we listed 20 leading cloud service providers, and yesterday, we looked at the players building the internet of things in Ireland.

Today we feature the infrastructure carriers and service providers that connect Ireland with the world.

The Data Tapestry series will culminate in a final list on Friday that incorporates data centres in Ireland.


Based in Texas, AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the world, by revenue.

AT&T in Ireland supports both country-headquartered organisations as well as local branches of global clients.

The company also provides broadband subscription television services through DirecTV and in October last year, it announced a deal to buy Time Warner.


With 4.3km of fibre cable throughout Ireland, BT’s presence is significant. Connected to both INEX and its London counterpart LINX, BT has been managing deployment of 200Gbps and 400Gbps speeds since laying a subsea cable between New York and Europe last year.

BT has 40 ‘next-generation’ Ethernet points of presence around the country.


Founded nearly nine years ago, the Cork Internet eXchange (CiX) has established itself as one of the central hubs for internet access for Cork, Ireland and the world.

Its Hollyhill centre supports much inbound and outbound IP traffic in the Munster region. Since 2015, it has supported two direct fibre connections, one from North America and one from the UK.


Late last year, news broke that cloud provider GTT had snapped up Hibernia Networks for $590m.

US-owned Hibernia Networks has a significant fibre broadband footprint in Ireland. It brought its tier-one Hibernia Express fibre cable to Cork, establishing a major point of presence for its international network at the TelecityGroup data centre in north Dublin.

GTT runs its own tier-one network, providing global cloud services, wide-area networking, voice services and more.


Image: alexskopje/Shutterstock


IP peering provider INEX (Internet Neutral Exchange Association) is an industry-owned group with more than 109 current members.

Founded in 1996, INEX has switching centres in Dublin’s Equinix in Citywest Business Campus, Interxion DUB1 and Interxion DUB2 in Park West, and the Vodafone data centre in Clonshaugh. Since last year, INEX also has a peering exchange in Cork, based in Hollyhill.

Level 3 Communications

Level 3 Communications is a US global telecoms giant and ISP that was acquired by CenturyLink in October 2016 for $34bn in cash and stock.

The company is a tier-one data carrier which delivers Netflix and Apple music and video content over the internet. It is also a ‘carrier’s carrier’ that serves telecoms companies in countries worldwide.

Level 3 came to Dublin in 2010 and committed to invest €1m a year to develop a Metropolitan Area Network in Dublin and connect at least five carrier-neutral data centres.

In 2011, Level 3 acquired Global Crossing, which was the main tier-one provider selected by the Irish Government to turn Ireland into a global e-commerce hub.


Unifi-ix was established in 2016 as a global internet exchange. Originally launched in the UK, the company established an Irish exchange through a €600,000 investment in December of last year. That exchange connected two of Dublin’s data centre hotspots, and the broader network includes locations in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

To make the network truly global, Unifi-ix is building its footprint in Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, New York, Dallas, North Virginia and Dubai.


As one of the largest telecoms providers in the world, Verizon has never been shy in snapping up talented online companies, be it Yahoo for nearly $5bn, or Irish workforce tech company Fleetmatics for $2.4bn.

With an office in the heart of Dublin, Verizon has also chosen the city as one of its key internet exchange points for companies in the area from its 3,000 sq m data centre.


Headquartered in Dublin, Viatel is a telecoms service provider that delivers connectivity solutions throughout Europe.

Viatel also owns Digiweb, an Irish broadband provider that has an 8,400km fibre network with a footprint in many European cities, such as London, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

In November 2016, Viatel announced plans to upgrade its Cork-based infrastructure to a dark fibre network, boosting broadband speeds in the city.