On the back of pandemic-driven demand for broadband, Imagine has accelerated completion of the first phase of its €300m fixed 5G programme.
Irish telecoms provider Imagine is speeding up delivery of its 5G fixed broadband network across regional and rural parts of the country. Remote working has caused a surge in demand for quality broadband and in response, the Dublin-based company has fast-tracked completion of the first phase of its €300m 5G fixed wireless programme.
The company is continuing transition of its network to full 5G this year and as of today (14 May), is on course to extend its 150Mb broadband service to 1.1m homes and businesses by the end of June. Remote and rural areas remain the priority, it says, and the goal is to cover 65pc of the 540,000 premises the National Broadband Plan previously identified as locations with inadequate connection.
Imagine’s self-described “high-speed, high-capacity” broadband draws on a fibre network of 268 mast locations spread across every county in the Republic of Ireland. It says that this removes the need for the “cables, poles and ducting” required for fibre networks. Premises within 20km of each mast can join its network through a secure wireless connection. To date, 40,000 customers have been connected.
The company’s next phase will see an additional 60 masts deployed to facilitate 55,000 premises that have applied for the service in Cavan, Clare, Cork, Carlow, Galway, Meath, Offaly, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo and Wexford. You can check whether your home or business is currently covered here.
Minister for Rural Development Heather Humphries, TD, who recently announced significant development plans for rural Ireland, said: “I am delighted with Imagine’s plans for rolling out high-speed broadband across rural Ireland.
“Now more than ever, broadband is an essential service that families, farms and business cannot afford to live without. From speaking with my constituents, I understand Imagine’s service to be robust, reliable and, most importantly, fast.”
Imagine CEO Sean Bolger added that high-performance broadband has become a “basic essential service” across the country.
“It will be crucial to the successful regeneration and future sustainability of rural Ireland,” he said.
Imagine has also teamed up with international banking partners ING and NIBC to fund its expansion over the next few years. The consortium has established an initial €45m facility to help the company accelerate investment and roll-out in rural Ireland.
Bolger added: “Rural areas of Ireland will be the among the first in Europe to benefit from equal access to high-speed, high-capacity broadband services, which has the potential to support thousands of businesses and change people’s lives.”
Updated, 11.09am, 14 May 2021: This article has been updated to correct an error which stated that Imagine was based in Sandycove. The company has been headquartered in Sandyford, Dublin since 1993.