Six additional Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) in six north-eastern towns went live yesterday. The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey TD also launched a new Group Broadband Scheme in south Monaghan.
The towns with the new MANs are: Monaghan, Cavan, Kingscourt, Carrickmacross, Dundalk and Drogheda. The new MANs will be managed by E-net, the Limerick-based company which manages the State’s broadband network, bringing to 27 the number of MANs currently under the company’s management.
E-net will be working with the telecom carriers who are interested in providing broadband services to businesses and homes in the region.
Michael Tiernan, chief executive of e-net, said: “The launch of these six MANs in the north-east is a great boost for the region and brings broadband access a step closer to businesses and householders in all of the towns mentioned. E-net is already working closely with telecom providers who are looking to provide services using these fibre networks.
“These networks will allow for the rollout of fibre to business, which will enhance the capability of the region to attract investment and jobs,” he added.
The project was led by Monaghan County Council who acted as co-ordinator on the project of building and installing the fibre optic cables in the six towns.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Dempsey said: “The first phase of the MANs programme has delivered high-speed fibre optic infrastructure in 27 towns and cities including the six networks that we are launching this evening. These networks will provide the north-east with the means to attract and develop high-technology enterprises and improve economic development in the area.”
The six MANs are part of the national €64m rollout of high-speed communications in 27 towns and cities across the State. This national broadband initiative is 90pc funded by the Government under the National Development Plan 2000-2006 and is co-funded by the EU under the European Regional Development Fund.
Minister Dempsey also launched a new Group Broadband Scheme in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan that will use fixed wireless access to provide broadband to several rural areas in south Monaghan.
“This scheme means that the people of rural Carrickmacross, Inniskeen, Donaghamoyne and Lisdoonan will have access to all the technological advantages which are often perceived to be only available in urban or more densely populated areas.
“Education, business and tourism are just some of the aspects of daily life which are now poised to exploit the wide variety of services and initiatives offered by modern communications technologies,” said Minister Dempsey.
By John Kennedy