Fibre broadband makes its way to Ireland’s Midlands

31 May 2010

Fibre broadband and TV company UPC is investing €15m to deploy broadband, HD digital and home phone services to thousands of homes across Ireland’s Midlands, the company revealed this morning.

Major regional towns Sligo, Mullingar, Athlone, Newbridge, Carlow and Portlaoise are set to benefit from investment. For all except Portlaoise, where rival operator Magnet provides fibre services, this will be their first taste of true 21st century broadband.

According to UPC’s scheduled rollout, 8,000 homes in Sligo, 7,000 in Mullingar and 7,000 in Newbridge are already capable of accessing the services. A further 7,000 people in Athlone, 9,000 in Carlow and 7,000 in Portlaoise will be connected in the coming weeks.

A total investment of €15m is enabling these regional towns to receive the full menu of services to include Fibre Power Broadband, Home Phone and HD Digital + TV all over one Fibre Power cable in one simple affordable package.

In May, UPC revealed that it would be bringing speeds of 100Mbps to 500,000 out of the 800,000-plus homes it covers as part of its €400m Fibre Power network upgrade. At the end of February, UPC reported that nearly 150,000 homes are subscribing to its broadband services.

Homes will be capable of getting home broadband speeds of up to to 30Mbps. This will be added with HD Digital + TV services and home phone packages.

“Our investment in upgrading these six towns to our Fibre Powered network will bring our next-generation services to an additional 45,000 homes, making our full suite of Fibre Powered services available to 550K homes,” Mark Coan, sales and marketing director at UPC, explained.

“This is the completion of a three-year investment programme in these six towns, which has seen us completely overhaul and re-build the cable networks investing in total well over €15m.

“Access to reliable, affordable high-speed broadband and advanced digital TV is critical for communities right across Ireland and our launch today gives these communities access to the most advanced future proofed network in Ireland. ”

The launch today makes high-definition TV available in these six towns for the first time for just €25.75 a month and makes available more than 60 new digital TV & radio channels to now reach more than 190 including for the first time ITV3, ITV4, FX, Hallmark and Sky Arts.

HD channels include BBC HD (including the world cup in HD), Discovery HD, National Geographic HD, NG Wild HD, Eurosport HD ESPN HD, Biography HD, History HD, Crime & Investigation HD, Disney Cinemagic HD.

By John Kennedy

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