Ireland on track to become one of the most connected countries in the world 

Eir’s FTTH network now available to 800,000 homes and businesses nationwide
Trade

25 April 2022

A combination of investment from public and private sectors has put Ireland on track to become one of the most connected countries in Europe, according to figures released by National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company rolling out the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband network under the National Broadband Plan, and eir.

According to figure from the EU, 97% of homes in Ireland have access to some kind of Internet connectivity, beating out the EU27 average of 82%.

A status report by NBI issued earlier this month said it expect that premises passed will pass the 102,000 homes mark by the year of 2022.

 

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NBI CEO Peter Hendrick explained: “Early take-up of services on the NBI network are already exceeding 30% in many of the initial deployment areas and it’s growing all the time, something we see as a really strong indicator of future demand. By comparison with any national or international comparison this is indicative of very high uptake levels, substantially ahead of initial expectations. Ultimately, we are confident of an overall take-up of approximately 85% and already have some 50 broadband providers signed up to sell services on the NBI network. This platform competition is expected to bring significant benefits directly to consumers by ensuring that bundled voice, broadband and TV packages offer real choice at competitive prices.”

David McCourt, chairman, National Broadband Ireland, said: “The leading indicators give us confidence that this ambitious project can and will be delivered on time and on budget. During 2022, 221,000 premises or 40% of the entire Intervention Area will be under construction, up from 28% last year. At the same time, we anticipate that 128,000 premises will be available to order on the NBI Network. Our ability to move premises from the construction phases to the order phase is seriously ramping up which means users can reap the benefits of the transformational network sooner.”

According to ComReg’s analysis for the last quarter of 2021, 86.8% of home broadband subscribers ordered speeds in excess of 30Mb/s and half ordering speeds in excess of 100Mb/s. FTTH subscriptions currently stand at 372,000 nationally, an increase of 49.6% year-on-year.

Eir’s gigabit fibre network is now available to 800,000 homes and businesses across Ireland. By 2026, the telecommunications provider plans to have delivered access to gigabit broadband to 84% of premises in Ireland as part of its €500 million investment into Ireland’s FTTH network.

Eir began building an urban focused FTTH network in 2019 following the completion of its rural FTTH programme, which was rolled out to 340,000 homes and businesses. Expansion work has continued at pace with eir’s engineering teams continuing to work throughout the pandemic, passing more than 400,000 homes during that time.

Eavann Murphy, managing director of Open eir Wholesale. “We are extremely proud of the scale and pace of this FTTH network build, and I think it is particularly remarkable that approximately 400,000 of these homes and businesses were passed during the pandemic. We are building a future-proofed network capable of delivering speeds of 2Gb/s straight to the customer’s home, across all cities, every town and almost every village in the country. 

“Gigabit connectivity is enabling a truly connected country, opening up opportunities for people to live, work and connect wherever they choose in Ireland, and I am very proud that we are building this wholesale fibre network for all of Ireland. As a wholesale business, we deliver choice with more than 40 service providers selling our network to both consumers and businesses.” 

TechCentral Reporters


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