Eir’s gigabit fibre roll-out hits milestone of 900,000 premises

3 Oct 2022

Open Eir technicians Sarah Doyle and Isobelle McSweeney. Image: Fennell Photography

Eir has opened its apprenticeship programme for the next generation of technicians to help continue the network’s expansion.

Eir has expanded its high-speed fibre network, passing more than 900,000 homes and businesses in Ireland.

The telecoms company said its network roll-out has been boosted by a landmark deal with InfraVia in January, and it has escalated the pace of roll-out to 250,000 homes and businesses annually.

As part of a €1bn five-year capital investment programme launched in 2018, Eir planned to invest €500m in a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network expansion in Ireland.

In April of this year, the telco said more than 800,000 homes and businesses across Ireland had access to its gigabit fibre network.

Open Eir Networks MD Una Stafford said the latest figure is an “extraordinary milestone” that will be “transformative” for Ireland’s economy and education.

“We are extremely proud of the scale and pace of this FTTH network build and of our technicians who make it possible,” Stafford added. “It’s a future-proofed network capable of delivering speeds of 10Gbps straight to the customer’s home or business, across all cities, every town and almost every village in the country.”

By 2026, Eir expects to reach 1.9m homes and businesses, or 84pc of premises in the country, with its gigabit fibre network.

Apprenticeship programme

To assist with the expansion of this network, Open Eir is calling for the next generation of technicians to join its apprenticeship programme. This programme will begin in March 2023, with 40 apprenticeships available.

Based at TU Dublin’s Tallaght campus, the structured programme will provide on-the-job learning, one-to-one coaching and formal classroom training, supported by an experienced technician.

The telco said 350 of Open Eir apprenticeships have already been completed. Open Eir technician Isobelle McSweeney joined the programme in 2019.

“I’d love to encourage other women to consider joining Eir’s apprentice programme and begin their career as a technician – every day is different and brings its own challenges and rewards,” McSweeney said.

Applications for next year’s apprentice programme are now open and will close at midnight on the 28 October.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic