By Siobhán Cronin
HOMES in Glengarriff and Minane Bridge are among the 170,000 homes and businesses in Cork that can now access high-speed fibre broadband as a result of a major multi-year investment programme by Eir.
While up to now the rollout of high-speed broadband has concentrated mainly in cities, towns and villages, in recent weeks open eir has commenced a major rollout of high-speed fibre broadband to rural parts of County Cork. These areas are largely composed of one-off housing and farms.
In the next three years, the ‘Fibre to the Home’ broadband roll-out programme says it will deliver world-class broadband speeds of up to 1,000Mbps to over 27,000 homes and businesses across rural areas of Cork, according to Eir.
It says that by 2020, Eir will have invested over €55m in Cork’s broadband infrastructure enabling over 200,000 homes and businesses across urban and rural Cork access to high-speed fibre broadband.
Nationally, Eir continues to make significant progress on the roll-out of Ireland’s largest open access high-speed fibre broadband network. open eir has so far enabled 1.6 million homes and businesses nationwide to access its high-speed fibre broadband network.
As an open access network any broadband provider can sell TV, broadband and phone services using the infrastructure. There are currently 15 telecoms companies using the network to provide TV and broadband services across Ireland.
When complete, a national network of 1.9 million premises will have access to high-speed broadband, leaving approximately 450,000 premises in areas where it isn’t currently commercially viable for open eir or other commercial networks to service.
To address this, the Government has announced it will award a National Broadband tender in 2017 to subsidise commercial networks in bringing high-speed broadband to the most rural areas in Ireland.
Speaking about the progress to date, Carolan Lennon, wholesale managing director of Open Eir said: ‘The availability of high-speed fibre broadband is crucial for local businesses who want to transact online, for schools to transform their teaching capability, for people at home who want to work remotely or avail of video on-demand and online TV services. Huge progress has been made by Open Eir in building Ireland’s largest high-speed fibre broadband network. In Cork alone, over 170,000 homes and businesses can access the network today across 78 communities.’
Carolan added: ‘We have a proven track record in delivering quality broadband at scale, at pace and ahead of schedule. No other operator is investing more than we are in broadband rollout and this is a significant commitment for a private company. Our rollout programme will see 27,000 homes and businesses in rural areas of Cork have access to speeds of up to 1,000Mbps. The remaining premises in rural Cork will be served by the National Broadband Plan.’
For further information see www.fibrerollout.ie which includes an interactive map detailing current and future roll-out areas.