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Press Releases

eircom Announces Ultra-Fast Fibre Broadband Trials

Up to €20m Investment
Vital Step on Roadmap to Fibre Future
Targeting Speeds of up to 150Mb
Open Access to All Industry Operators
Available to 10,000 Homes in Sandyford and Wexford

(Tuesday, 15 June, 2010) eircom today announced two large scale, open access and ultra fast broadband fibre trials for up to 10,000 residential and business customers in communities in Wexford town and Sandyford, Co. Dublin.

Fibre to the home technology (FTTH) will be provided directly to customer premises and offer broadband speeds of up to 150Mb per second. Businesses and households within these areas will be offered a range of exciting new products and services that take full advantage of the lightning fast and dedicated bandwidth broadband connection with unprecedented connectivity for social networking through new platforms such as TV. Open access will be provided by eircom to any other operator who wishes to participate in the project.

The project represents an investment of up to €20m. Work is already underway with tenders issued to suppliers for a number of elements of the project. It is hoped that the first customers will be connected by early Spring 2011.

Paul Donovan CEO eircom Group said “Today’s announcement marks another important step in the Company’s journey towards offering fibre based products to our customers. This investment underlines eircom’s commitment to test new technologies at scale and will help determine the technological requirements and regulatory frameworks that are necessary across the whole country in support of the future economy for Ireland.

The Company’s open access approach provides an opportunity for the entire industry to gain knowledge and fully participate in the collective debate and discussion on the future of telecommunications infrastructure in Ireland.”

In response to the announcement, Communications Minister, Eamon Ryan said, “This announcement from eircom is yet another good news story for Irish customers. I must commend eircom for providing these trials on an open-access basis, available for all service providers.

Competition and cooperation between providers will help deliver fast and effective broadband in Ireland, and it is clearly working. I wish eircom success with these trials, another step in the move to next generation networks.”

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of announcements as eircom offers faster broadband speeds and better broadband performance. In the past two years, eircom conducted technical trials of both FTTH and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technologies. In January 2010, speeds of up to 24Mb were introduced for 500,000 customers using ADSL2+ technology. In March, eircom launched Next Generation Broadband raising the entry level broadband to up to 8Mb for eircom customers and offering improved broadband performance for up to one million customers. These developments are supported by eircom’s Next Generation Network, a digital motorway that provides high capacity bandwidth across the country providing improved customer experience for high bandwidth activities such as downloading films, gaming and streaming video content. For business customers, it facilitates new trends such as cloud computing applications.

These developments represent an investment by eircom of more than €1bn over a three year period in network infrastructure, including the construction of the Next Generation Network. This very high capacity, all IP network is a key foundation for Ireland’s future economic growth, providing greater downloading capacity in anticipation of the continued growth in high bandwidth consumption.