Enet-SSE lays out rural broadband plan

David C McCourt, enet; Minister for Communications Denis Naughten; and Stephen Wheeler, SSE

8 September 2017

Enet-SSE, a joint venture between open-access network provider enet and energy utility SSE, has announced plans to deliver fibre broadband connectivity to 115,000 homes and businesses in rural Ireland.

In the coming months, enet-SSE will deliver the new fibre-to-the-premises broadband network to nine towns in the West and North West, beginning in Ballinasloe and continuing on to Roscommon Town, Manorhamilton, Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal Town, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, and Buncrana. The network roll-out will connect each town in phases, will be completed in 2019.

David C. McCourt, founder of Granahan McCourt Capital and chairman, enet, said: “This investment is extremely positive news for regional Ireland and further evidence of our commitment to invest money where it matters to solve Ireland’s biggest connectivity needs, which are essential to future-proof its digital future. By jointly deploying our expertise and combined resources, we will extend world class connectivity to some of the most underserved areas of the country.”

Stephen Wheeler, managing director, SSE Ireland, said: “At SSE, our renewable energy projects have allowed us to make a positive difference for communities across rural Ireland over the last decade, particularly through investment in local jobs, enterprises and communities.

“As one of the broadest-based utility companies operating across Ireland and the UK, we have immense experience in delivering essential services to homes and businesses. This includes around 15 years’ experience in telecoms and broadband in Great Britain, where we have developed and operate almost 14,000km of high capacity fibre optic networks.”

Since its acquisition of enet in 2013, Granahan McCourt Capital has already invested over €100 million, to complement the State owned MANs fibre network in 94 regional towns, including a dark fibre backhaul infrastructure transiting the rail and gas network and three proprietary metro networks including a 100km fibre ring in Dublin.

UK-listed SSE has invested over €2 billion in Ireland since 2008 where provides energy to 800,000 home and business customers.

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