Sky Ireland enters wholesale broadband deal with Virgin

18 Oct 2023

From left: Virgin Media Ireland CEO Tony Hanway and Sky Ireland CEO JD Buckley. Image: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Sky claims to have partnerships with every full-fibre broadband provider in Ireland, while Virgin Media aims to complete its own national fibre upgrade by the end of 2025.

Sky Ireland has announced a wholesale network access deal with Virgin Media Ireland in order to give enhanced broadband services to its customers.

Sky said this deal will give its customers access to Virgin’s superfast fibre broadband network to improve existing services.

Speaking on the new deal, Sky Ireland CEO JD Buckley claims the company now has partnerships with “every full-fibre broadband provider in Ireland”.

“Whether our customers are using broadband for work, streaming content through Sky Glass or Sky Stream, or gaming, we can offer them the best full-fibre service available in their area,” Buckley said.

“This new partnership highlights our shared commitment to provide Irish consumers with a wider choice of high-quality services and the best broadband experience.”

Virgin Media has connected more than 1m Irish premises to its network. The company is also in the process of upgrading this network to full fibre, through a €200m investment it announced in 2021.

This followed Virgin Media making 1Gbps speeds available across almost its national network in 2020.

To date, Virgin Media Ireland claims it has already upgraded over 250,000 premises to fibre across its network. The company’s CEO Tony Hanway said it is continuing its national expansion and aims to bring fibre to more than 1m premises by the end of 2025.

“This further development forms part of our comprehensive ongoing commitment towards Ireland’s digital progress, enhancing overall competition and service delivery for consumers, businesses and communities nationwide,” Hanway said.

In June, Virgin said it had expanded its fibre roll-out to make it available in Irish towns such as Tralee, Killarney and Letterkenny. The company said at the time that full-fibre network upgrades were ongoing in areas such as Dublin, Cork and Louth.

A recent report by network intelligence company Ookla claims Eir’s fibre network has the most reliable broadband speeds in Ireland.

The assessment gave Eir a consistency score of more than 91pc, making it the only broadband provider in the listing to achieve a score greater than 90pc. Virgin Media came in second with more than 88pc, followed by Sky at more than 85pc.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic