Flat-rate wireless broadband service goes live


8 May 2003

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Irish Broadband today unveiled plans to roll out a national always-on, flat-rate wireless broadband service to businesses and residential users.

The company will be offering wireless connections equal to DSL (digital subscriber line) quality at DSL prices. While DSL connections are generally shared between 24 and 48 different users, Irish Broadband says that its service will be shared with between four and eight other users, “so users have better speeds and quality of service”, explained chief executive, Paul Doody.

Established by ex-Eircom, Switchcom, Chorus and NTL sales people and engineers, Doody says that some 30 new jobs have been created at Irish Broadband with 45 expected to be in place by year’s end.

The Irish Broadband network is already up and running throughout south Dublin and the city centre but the company will be rolling out services across north Dublin and surrounding counties in the coming months. The company will also be rolling out its service in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway over the coming months. “We have 10 base stations in Dublin at the moment and we have plans to go nationwide over the next six months to a year. Because our technology is based on wireless line of sight we don’t have to worry about digging up roads and the last mile. Therefore, if you look at the 19 towns earmarked in the National Broadband Strategy for metropolitan area networks (MANs), it will only cost us around €100,000 to have our infrastructure in place,” Doody told siliconrepublic.com.

Doody added that the company is also looking at business opportunities in the UK and Northern Ireland.

Irish Broadband’s technology director, Jeremy Nel, explained: “Our technology is largely line of sight and guarantees leased line speeds up to 1km from the base station. We are currently evaluating other wireless technologies that don’t require line of sight.”

Irish Broadband is a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Toll Roads (NTR). Over the past number of years NTR has been working steadily in building up alternative public infrastructure businesses where it sees deficiencies in what is on offer to the Irish public through partaking in public private partnerships and is a major investor in operations such as Celtic Waste and Eirtricity. “Irish Broadband represents NTR’s commitment to the communications needs of the country,” Doody told siliconrepublic.com.

By John Kennedy