Up-and-coming broadband player Magnet Networks has signed a 10-year deal with ESB Telecoms that will enable it to potentially reach over 700,000 homes across the country.
Under the agreement ESB Telecoms will provide connectivity between the cities of Galway, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Portlaoise back to Magnet Networks’ central facility in Dublin. The service connects together Magnet Networks ADSL2+ network which leverages the Eircom local loop into individual homes to deliver the company’s home entertainment and communications services.
As a result, Magnet Networks is able to offer its services – Ireland’s fastest broadband, digital TV and telephone – to all of the major urban centres in Ireland. It is anticipated that the national element of the network will be complete in the first two months of 2006 as work has already begun.
The deal follows the announcement of a €65m network investment package announced by Magnet Networks in September.
“This is one of the largest deals we have done and is further endorsement of our objective to provide the industry with dedicated wholesale services,” said Niall Hogan, general manager of ESB Telecoms. “We are very pleased to be involved with such an innovative company as Magnet Networks. The ESB Telecoms fibre network is having a positive impact on the Irish telecoms landscape, enabling operators to rapidly roll out leading-edge service offerings. Magnet is further proof of this.”
Ingvar Gardarsson, CEO of Magnet Networks, added: “When you interconnect ESB Telecoms’ national network with the Government’s Metropolitan Area Networks our customers could see that a national network could be quickly established with only a fraction of the cost of building the network independently.
“This foresight is generating payback for the country through Magnet Networks’ investment as a new player in the market with serious reach and a service offering that competes with not only the traditional telcos but also the TV companies like NTL and Chorus.”
In recent weeks Magnet announced a new set of broadband packages utilising ADSL2+ technology that enables speeds of up to 24Mbps. It is understood that Magnet is one of the pioneers of the technology in Europe.
“The level of investment being made by Magnet Networks is a clear sign of the impact we are making in the market. The company is making great strides and we are delighted to finally offer the Irish consumer real competition to the present incumbents,” commented Magnet sales and marketing director Charlie Ardagh.
By John Kennedy