Eir passes more than 100,000 homes in rural Ireland with fibre

2 Oct 2017

From left: Eir technician John O’Carroll and Noel McMahon, front line manager. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

Eir is one-third of the way through planned rural broadband roll-out.

Telecoms operator Eir said it has passed 100,000 fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) premises in rural Ireland as part of a €200m investment agreed with the Irish Government.

The news comes after a tumultuous week on the broadband front in Ireland after Vodafone-ESB joint venture Siro dropped out of the race for the National Broadband Plan, leaving two contenders in the race: Eir and Enet. Instead, Siro will focus on its high-speed roll-out within 51 towns, which includes 500,000 premises.

In April, Eir struck a deal with the Irish Government pledging to connect 300,000 premises in rural Ireland, reducing the National Broadband Plan’s intervention area footprint to around 542,000.

Ahead of target

Eir says it has delivered more than 100,000 fibre connections to rural Ireland

Eir technicians at work. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

Overall, Eir is on track to connect 1.9m homes around Ireland with fibre broadband-based services by the end of 2018, or 80pc of the country. It said that this is two years ahead of its original plan.

Over the weekend, the company confirmed that it met its September target and has now passed 101,000 rural premises with high-speed broadband. This brings Eir’s total FTTH footprint to 148,000.

“Today’s announcement is further proof of our determination to deliver on our public commitments,” said Carolan Lennon, managing director of Open Eir, Eir’s wholesale arm.

“We have completed one-third of our rural 300k fibre roll-out programme and we are on track to complete the roll-out of this programme by the end of next year.

“There are very clear and ambitious targets set out in our commitment agreement with the Government and we are 100pc focused on meeting those targets.

“We remain focused on delivering high-speed broadband to as many communities across Ireland as possible,” added Lennon.

Updated, 5.28pm, 2 October 2017: The headline of this article was amended to clarify that Eir has passed the 100,000 homes with fibre.

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