Virgin Media gives Vodafone access to its Irish fibre broadband network

27 Oct 2022

Vodafone Ireland CEO Amanda Nelson and Virgin Media Ireland CEO Tony Hanway. Image: Naoise Culhane

Virgin Media said the deal will support more competition while improving service delivery for communities across Ireland.

Virgin Media and Vodafone have agreed a wholesale network access deal, which will give Vodafone customers across Ireland fixed-line broadband services through Virgin’s fibre network.

This is the first time Virgin Media Ireland has provided network access to another operator, which the company said will support more competition while improving service delivery for communities around the country.

The telecoms company is currently upgrading its national broadband network of more than 1m premises to full fibre, boosting speeds from 1Gbps to 10Gbps. The €200m network upgrade began last year and is expected to take three years.

To date, Virgin Media has upgraded more than 150,000 premises to fibre across its network. Virgin Media Ireland CEO Tony Hanway said the company aims to upgrade more than 240,000 homes by the end of this year and more than 1m homes by 2025.

“We’re very pleased to provide network access opportunities to other operators for the first time and we welcome Vodafone as our first wholesale network partner,” Hanway added. “It’s all systems go as we continue to expand our network nationally.”

In August, Virgin Media signed a deal with broadband company Siro to extend its network to an additional 450,000 premises across Ireland.

Speaking about the network access deal, new Vodafone Ireland CEO Amanda Nelson said it demonstrates the company’s continued focus on its “significant network investment strategy” as it looks to upgrade its capabilities in Ireland.

“Having recently celebrated 21 years in Ireland, we are looking forward to supporting our customers and businesses across the country long into the future, ensuring balanced regional development and a resilient and strengthened economy,” Nelson added.

In June, Vodafone Ireland revealed plans to upgrade its entire 3G service onto its 4G and 5G network through a phased programme taking place this year.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic