Motorways to drive fibre broadband breakthrough

4 Feb 2010

One of the major obstacles preventing widespread distribution of fibre broadband across Ireland has been removed. New legislation will mean the National Roads Authority will open up ducts for fibre backhaul.

Legislation clarifying how telecoms operators can access special ducting that runs beneath Ireland’s major motorways has just been approved in the Seanad.

Attempting civil engineering projects to dig up national roads or motorways to deploy fibre cabling until now meant getting permission from every single local authority, including town and county councils, in the country.

As a result, according to various telecom operators, the National Roads Authority (NRA) was reluctant to engage in these projects and a bottleneck ensued whereby ducting that already existed wasn’t being used.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years