Incumbent operator Eircom says it has broadband-enabled 19 additional telecoms exchanges around Ireland, making it possible for an additional 12,000 people to subscribe to broadband.
The company says it will enable a total of 900 exchanges across Ireland in the next two years, meaning that 96pc of working telephone lines in the country will eventually be connected to a broadband exchange.
The company says Ireland is closing the gap on the EU average (16.9pc in June) for broadband penetration with 16pc of the population now taking up broadband. The current estimate for EU average broadband penetration is 18pc.
“Our latest figures show Ireland is closing the gap and catching up with the EU average for broadband take-up,” said chief executive Rex Comb.
“Eircom is 100pc committed to making broadband available to as many parts of the country as we can,” Comb added.
He said the enablement of the 19 exchanges demonstrates the company is sticking to what it describes as an aggressive rollout programme in the coming months.
“Between now and the end of the year we expect to have an additional 100 exchanges enabled. This momentum will continue into the following year with well over 350 new exchanges enabled by the end of 2008. Ireland is closing the gap and catching up with the EU average for broadband take-up,” Comb said.
The most recent estimate from the Commission for Communications Regulation is that 602,000 people in Ireland now have access to broadband services.
The 19 newly enabled exchanges are: Annestown in Waterford, Dunlavin in Wicklow, Ballybrittas in Laois, Ballygarvan and Doneraile in Cork, Charlestown and Ballindine in Mayo, Ballymahon in Longford, Freshford and Gracefield in Offaly, Tiermaclane in Clare, Greencastle and Quigley’s Point in Donegal, Nobber in Meath, Dunmore and Turloughmore in Galway, Nutgrove Business Park in Dublin and Newhall Business Park in Kildare.
By John Kennedy