Every county town in Ireland should have access to the same internet speeds as Tokyo within three years as two of the country’s major telecoms players launch rival super-fast broadband plans.
Former state-owned telecoms provider Eircom today announced it would be be installing fibre-to-the-home broadband capable of delivering speeds of up to 1,000 megabits (Mb) per second from next month until December 2017.
It said customer links to the new network would be “provided as demand for this connectivity emerges” and the network was planned to spread across 66 regions including parts of the country’s five biggest cities, major regional centres and every county town.
The first sites to get the technology will be Cavan and Letterkenny towns and Kilkenny City with work due to take about six months.
Here’s where will be getting the faster broadband:
Eircom’s acting CEO Richard Moat said the fibre-to-the-home networks was the “natural next step” in building the company’s broadband capability.
This announcement underlines Eircom’s ambition for Ireland and our ambition as the country’s leading telecommunications provider to roll out new technologies that enable and encourage economic growth,” he said.
Eircom said it had also started a trial to find the cheapest way of installing fibre-to-the-home technology in rural Ireland and from early next year it would be testing a network in Belcarra, Co Mayo.
Last month the company topped 1 million premises which had access to its standard broadband network, which is capable of delivering speeds of up to 100 Mb/sec.
Super-fast broadband wars… It’s on
The announcement comes only a day after the European Commission gave its tick of approval to a €450 million joint venture between Vodafone and ESB to build a similar network which it said will reach 500,000 premises in 50 towns during the first stage.
Its roll out will start next year and it expects the initial push will be finished within four years with further locations potentially added after that.
ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty said the rollout would be a “real boost” for regional Ireland and it meant people in towns like Cavan, where it had been running its trial, would have “the same amazing online experience as Tokyo”.
The network will be piggy backed on ESB’s power cables to deliver it straight to people’s homes and businesses.
Both the Eircom network and the joint venture’s offering will be ”open access” which means other broadband providers will be able to offer products using the technology to their retail customers.
Neither provider has released any pricing details for their networks.