ESB to reveal dark-fibre Metro Express network for Dublin (video)

9 Jun 2015

ESB has built a new dark fibre Metro Express network that will make Dublin one of the world's leading digital cities

As part of its innovation drive, ESB will next week reveal a new 35km dark-fibre network that will join both ends of the existing T50 that connects most data centres in Dublin, the company’s Gerry Noone revealed to in an interview.

ESB’s new Metro Express is an exclusive high-capacity dark-fibre route in Dublin that will be unveiled at the ESB’s Powering Potential expo, which will take place under a specially-constructed dome at Merrion Square on 10 and 11 June .

The expo will showcase ESB’s progress in developing smarter homes, electric transport, a smarter energy network and preparing for a low carbon future.

It will feature keynotes from the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White TD as well as ESB’s director of innovation Paul Mulvaney and futurist and political scientist Sohail Inayatullah.

In conjunction with the T50, the ESB Metro Express will create a perfect fibre ring offering data centres and businesses a superior network with increased protection and security.

Powering the biggest dark fibre network in Dublin

According to Gerry Noone, sales and marketing manager for ESB Telecom, it will increase customers’ availability from 99.99pc to 99.999pc, ideal if you are conneting to a data centre in Dublin.

The ESB Metro Express is a unique route that offers high-capacity dark fibre covering 35km buried deep below ground under Dublin.

“Metro Express is a high-capacity dark-fibre route between Citywest and Clonshaugh. The T50 allowed all of these international data centres to become very successful on the west side of Dublin, what ESB Telecoms is doing now is creating a natural ring between CityWest and Clonshaugh that will allow the networks to grow and provide security and resilience.”

Noone said that the new network will complement ESB’s existing network in Dublin as well as its SIRO joint venture with Vodafone that will bring high-speed fibre broadband to homes and businesses in Dublin and across the nation.

“ESB has over 400km of fibre in the ground in Dublin. That is the biggest fibre network in Dublin where dark fibre is a standard product offering.

“The fibre network was originally constructed to support the high-voltage network in Dublin. The network goes to the population centres and the industry centres, which is where the fibre is required. We leverage the excess capacity on that fibre network, we sell it to telcos, content providers, educational bodies.”

But in particular he said the data centre community in Dublin will be the first to harness the dark-fibre capacity for security and resilience reasons.

“The data centre community in Ireland is hugely important to the growth of the digital presence in Ireland. The pace that new data centres are coming on stream is really amazing at the moment. We have all seen the announcements in the press, Apple’s investment in Athenry, Microsoft, Amazon and Google — all of the big FDI companies have a significant presence here and that is only growing. As ESB Telecoms we bring our infrastructure to the door of the data centres. That partnership works really well. The data centres need high-quality resilient telecoms. The customers of the data centres need a connection to the broader network.”

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