The €435m committed in the National Development Plan (NDP) to support the continued rollout of metropolitan area networks (MANs) has unsurprisingly been welcomed by e-net, the company charged with running the MANs.
The new NDP will see 90 new MANs being delivered around the country during 2007-2008.
E-net chief executive Conal Henry said that the first phase of the MANs programme is on target with 27 MANs constructed to date. He added that all of the major telecoms providers with the exception of Eircom use the networks.
“We are confident that the benefits achieved to date ensure the development of an open-access, competitive broadband market throughout Ireland,” remarked Henry.
The company pointed to the fact that four out of the past five major IDA Ireland-supported foreign direct investments were in areas linked to a MANs. These are Northern Trust in Limerick, Citco in Cork, Vesta in Dundalk and IFS in Drogheda.
Eircom has yet to make use of the MAN infrastructure, labeling it an unnecessary duplication of its own network. The project has also been criticised in the past by broadband lobby group IrelandOffline.
By Niall Byrne