Magnet to spend €65m in countrywide expansion


9 Sep 2005

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Dublin-based broadband operator Magnet Networks is to spend up to €65m by the end of 2008 rolling out network infrastructure outside the capital.

In a strategy to be announced later this month, the company, which uses fibre to bring triple-play digital telephony, television and high-speed broadband services to its customers, plans to significantly expand its customer base from its present location in the Greater Dublin and Leinster Areas. It did not reveal exactly which areas would be covered under its network expansion plans.

Since launching its services last December to residential customers at selected developments in north Dublin, in partnership with leading broadband solutions provider and systems integrator Industria, Magnet Networks has expanded its network to reach significant numbers of new subscribers in the city and surrounding area.

Following last December’s rollout, Magnet Networks’ market position has been strengthened through the acquisition in May of Dublin-based broadband wireless specialist Leap Broadband, a business services provider serving customers in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick.

Both companies are owned by global private equity investment company Columbia Ventures Corporation (CVC), holder of extensive telecoms assets in the US, Europe, and Australia. CVC’s other Irish interests include the ownership of Hibernia Atlantic, owner and operator of Ireland’s only direct fibre optic with North America and the UK in the form of a 12,200km submarine cable system.

“The level of the investment CVC is making is indicative of the role that Magnet Networks and the Irish market play in the company’s future plans,” said Magnet Networks director of marketing, Charlie Ardagh, who added that the firm would be expanding on its current workforce of around 75 employees.

By Brian Skelly