Firm aims to cover 95pc of the mid-west with broadband

10 Nov 2006

A new wireless service provider plans to deliver wireless broadband to 95pc of the population of the rural mid-west of Ireland within three years.

Roscommon-based Azotel-BriskNEt is a broadband provider currently delivering broadband in Roscommon based on a franchise network run by Hosting365, Motorola and Azotel.

The company, which launches today, is currently delivering broadband in Roscommon and plans to move into Galway and Mayo early in 2007.

The company will be using Motorola’s wi4 Canopy wireless broadband system that was first deployed in Ireland in 2002 in Cork and is now installed in 130 countries by 3,200 wireless internet service providers (WISPs).

John O’Hare, managing director of Azotel, said: “The collaborative approach behind this project is key to its success.

“Earlier this year Azotel, Motorola and hosting365 (with support from E-net and Bank of Ireland) launched the Azotel wireless broadband franchise, effectively a ‘business in a box’ enabling Azotel franchisees to deliver viable, profitable and class-leading broadband services to end users in areas where to date it has been uneconomical to do so.

“High-penetration broadband coverage is now being put in place by a team of Azotel franchisees across Ireland and we are in the process of replicated abroad.”

O’Hare continued: “We have been developing/refining both the technology and business model since April 2002 and are now entering a rapid deployment phase. An added advantage of the approach is that franchisees are themselves now feeding back experiences in to the process, which will underpin the further rollout of Azotel.”

The Azotel system allows broadband operators to focus on the commercial side of their business and to outsource a combination of highly technical network building and management functions and time-consuming administrative back-office functions to Azotel.

Steve Bluff, managing director of Azotel-Brisknet, said the company was “leveraging the benefits of national and local government investment by availing of the key enabling infrastructure put in place, ie the fibre MAN [metropolitan area network] in the heart of Co Roscommon, with the co-operation of E-net, the Managed Service Entity for the networks”.

The planned rollout of the wireless service was welcomed by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey TD, who said: “The broadband service being launched by Azotel-BriskNet is a good example of how the challenge of providing broadband in uneconomic areas can be innovatively solved by industry partners facilitated by E-net and the recent Government investment in the MAN infrastructure.”

By John Kennedy