UPC to launch 100Mbps fibre broadband to 500k homes

4 May 2010

UPC has unveiled its Fibre Power 100Mbps broadband service, which will be available to consumers from late summer and will offer HD TV and phone services and is based on the latest Docsis 3.0 infrastructure.

While the cost of the new service has not been revealed at this point, the company described the offering as competitive.

It is the culmination of a €330m investment in UPC’s next-generation network in Ireland and is a step closer to the 120Mbps speeds the company envisages by the end of this year.

Liberty Global-owned UPC’s broadband services are capable of serving 600,000 homes in Ireland that are connected to cable. In its first quarter results. the company revealed that 110,000 of these homes are subscribing to broadband from UPC.

The company will be packaging the product in a triple play format with high-definition TV, zero line rental from Eircom and the 100Mbps connectivity.

UPC has now completed the €330m fibre power upgrade to 500,000 homes, typically bringing fibre to within 300 metres of the customer’s home.

High-speed broadband need

“We see a growing need for affordable high-speed broadband connections across our customer base,” Mark Coan, sales and marketing director of UPC, said this morning.

“Today, over half of our customers take our 15Mbps and 30Mbps services, which, being available to over 600,000 homes, are already the highest widely available speeds in Ireland.

“A combined generational and technological shift is driving accelerated growth of bandwidth-hungry rich applications like cloud computing, social media sharing and user generated high-definition content,” he explained

Coan said the new service will be a groundbreaker in the area of online gaming and high-definition video and will transform the way people interact and entertain online. 

He said the 100Mbps service will allow users to download an entire music album in as little as five seconds, a TV show from iTunes in 30 seconds, a high quality movie in less than two minutes and a high-definition movie in around six minutes.

“Ireland has one of the youngest demographics in Europe and that dynamic is driving unprecedented bandwidth demand.

“Due to our one-third of a billion investment in our fibre power network, we are in a unique position to consistently deliver unrivalled uncongested speeds and meet that demand. We are pleased to raise the bar yet again for the Irish consumer with the launch of our 100Mbps service,” Coan said.

The 100Mb product will be made available using the next-generation cable broadband standard Docsis 3.0. This is the first time UPC Ireland have released a Docsis 3.0 product.

Docsis 3.0 allows ultra fast speed communications over the existing HFC (hybrid fibre-coaxial) cable networks, up to five times faster than ADSL’s theoretical maximum capability, the UPC claimed.

UPC’s ability to offer higher speeds and services, such as HD and video on demand, is underpinned by the capability of its hybrid fibre coaxial network and its continued €330m network upgrade.

By John Kennedy

Photo: UPC’s Fibre Power 100Mbps broadband service will offer HD TV and phone services

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