Dark fibre weaves its way West across the Shannon

30 Sep 2010

Bord Gáis subsidiary Aurora Telecom is rolling out a 330km fibre-optic network in ducting laid along Bord Gáis’ pipeline to the west. The route will take in Galway, Athlone, Mullingar and Ennis, and other towns along the route will be connected as demand requires.

In a move that will infinitely boost the economic and social prospects for the West of Ireland, Aurora will also provide a Managed Bandwidth backhaul service, which will provide smaller operations with a reliable and transparent solution that would not have large set-up costs and would allow them to increase their bandwidth as their demand increases.

“Government broadband policy involves leveraging state-owned infrastructure, such as gas pipelines, to help deliver high-speed broadband and improved telecoms services throughout the country,” Communications Minister Eamon Ryan TD said today.

“The state agencies possessing telecommunications infrastructure therefore have a key role to play in providing cost-effective and open access to backhaul.

“Developing high-speed bandwidth is fundamental to our economic recovery. Not only will this project improve the attractiveness of Ireland for continued investment, but it will greatly assist in the growth and sustainability of small businesses, particularly in our regional towns. These businesses will be better connected and in a better position to compete in national and international markets,” Ryan said.

The fibre-optic cable is being inserted into high specification telecommunications ducting that was laid during construction of the gas Pipeline to the West, which is owned and operated by Bord Gáis Networks.

County-wide fibre-optic route

The fibre-optic route traverses directly cross county and benefits from the standards applied to safeguarding high-pressure gas pipelines, such as regular aerial and foot patrols to ensure no outages through third-party interference.

The fibre blowing technology employed to install the fibre into the ducting ensures longer distances between joints, resulting in exceptionally low optical loss.

The provision of secure carrier neutral co-location and repeater facilities along the network forms part of an end-to-end service to customers which includes consultation, network planning, rapid deployment and comprehensive support.

“This development is of critical importance to the upgrading of digital-based services in the country and supports the Government’s vision of a smart economy,” John Mullins, chief executive of Bord Gáis, explained.

“High-speed bandwidth services are essential in order to encourage foreign direct investment and Bord Gáis is delighted to be in a position to offer this to large corporate entities and telecommunications carriers from Dublin right across to the West of Ireland,” Mullins said.

Fibre optic fluff, via Flickr

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years