A raft of Irish towns are set to get connected with fibre.
Network firm Enet is investing €5m to bring fibre to 10 regional towns around Ireland.
The towns selected are Buncrana, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Cootehill, Castleblayney, Ballinasloe, Manorhamilton and Donegal town.
‘The construction of these 10 fibre networks will further deliver affordable, state-of-the-art broadband services to businesses in regional Ireland’
– DAVID C MCCOURT
Enet – along with Open Eir and Siro (Vodafone and ESB’s joint venture) – has been shortlisted for the Irish Government’s National Broadband Plan, which aims to connect close to 1m premises, or 1.8m people, with a minimum of 30Mbps broadband.
The contracts for the project are due to be announced in June, although there have been warnings that this may slip to later in the year.
It has also been reported that the Government may have reached a deal with Eir, whereby 300,000 premises would be removed from the intervention and become Eir’s responsibility to connect to digital infrastructure.
Enet operates the second-largest fibre network in Ireland, incorporating 94 metropolitan area networks operated on behalf of the Irish Government, as well as a dark fibre backhaul infrastructure transiting the rail and gas network, and three proprietary metro networks, including a 100km fibre ring in Dublin.
Enet chairman and lead shareholder David C McCourt said: “Having already invested over €100m in the sustained development of telecoms infrastructure since we acquired Enet, the construction of these 10 fibre networks will further deliver affordable, state-of-the-art broadband services to businesses in regional Ireland.
“The Enet board are happy with the support the Irish Government has given us and we look forward to maintaining our partnership with the State, as well as continued investment in world-class infrastructure in regional and rural Ireland,” McCourt added.
The 10 new towns follow on the heels of the delivery of 1Gbps connectivity to Loughrea, Ardee and Kilkenny.
“The fibre direct network will completely replace the out-of-date copper network, which has reached its end of life,” said Enet CEO Conal Henry.
“We’re building a broadband network to deliver real broadband.
“ComReg recently reported that there were only 7,623 premises that have a fibre service – so this investment in genuine fibre infrastructure will increase that by at least a third.”