Ireland's Eircom Launches 1 Gbit/s FTTH

Eircom sets out 1 Gigabit vision for rural Ireland.

May 11, 2015

4 Min Read

BELCARRA, Mayo -- Eircom, Ireland’s largest telecommunications provider, today launched its proposed solution to the upcoming National Broadband Plan to bring best in class high-speed broadband to rural Ireland, that will use more than 90,000km of fibre optic cable. Showcasing broadband speeds of 1Gb with Fibre to the Home (FTTH) technology, a series of events took place in the small, rural farming community of Belcarra, Co Mayo to demonstrate the transformative impact the service has had on the area.

This trial comes in advance of the August commercial launch of FTTH services in 19 locations that will expand to 66 communities as part of a nationwide footprint nationwide. The solution enables speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (1000Mb per second), the fastest speeds in the country and comparable with the best broadband networks globally. Attendees at the Mayo event, which live–linked the Balla Livestock Mart with the local community centre and a primary school via fibre technology heard from local people whose lives and businesses have benefitted from the service. eircom’s FTTH solution will enable Belcarra and other rural communities to compete nationally and internationally, thanks to the reliability and speed of broadband that allows users to substantially build businesses on the domestic and international fronts.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and Minister for Communications Alex White TD also visited the Belcarra Community Centre and Manulla National School, where 17 eager primary school students chatted with the Taoiseach while their teacher talked about their plans for tablet technology and e-learning. As a surprise to the children, An Taoiseach put the high speed broadband connection to the test when he Skyped Mayo football star Donal Vaughan to ask him about the upcoming All Ireland Football Championship.

Speaking at the launch event in Belcarra, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD said “Our job in Government is to ensure that the recovery that has taken hold reaches every community in Ireland. Delivery of high-speed broadband to rural Ireland is a key part of achieving this. eircom’s fibre to the home pilot in Belcarra clearly demonstrates how high-speed broadband can support and enhance every aspect of rural life – from those working remotely, running online businesses, using new technology in farming and transforming educational delivery in schools. This is part of building and maintaining rural communities for the future."

Also commenting, Minister for Communications, Alex White TD said, “The National Broadband Plan has created a policy and regulatory environment that is helping to stimulate commercial investment. The commercial sector has responded by investing heavily to provide high speed access to 70% of Ireland’s premises. The Government will ensure that high speed broadband is delivered to the remaining 30% through a State-funded intervention.

“The National Broadband Plan has the full backing and support of the Government and is one of its priority areas for capital investment over the next few years. Bringing high quality broadband to places like Belcarra is about equity and quality of life. It is about ensuring that our citizens in rural Ireland have the same life chances, and the same access to information, culture, ideas, social interaction and opportunity, that people in urban areas can enjoy. It’s also about jobs in the rural economy. By ensuring access to high quality broadband we will help attract investment, and ensure that businesses in rural Ireland can stay in rural Ireland.”

eircom CEO Richard Moat continued “The rollout of high-speed fibre broadband to rural Ireland is the modern equivalent to the electrification programme. As a country, we have a once off opportunity to build a future proofed high-speed broadband network to the benefit of hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses with the potential to revolutionise many aspects of rural life and re-invigorate rural communities.

Today we underline our ambition to deliver best in class broadband for all parts of Ireland and continue to rollout fibre services at pace. If successful in winning the National Broadband Plan tender, eircom will invest hundreds of millions of euro alongside the Government to roll out the best broadband technology available right across rural Ireland.”

eircom is committed to delivering high-speed broadband to at least 1.6m premises, or 70% of the population. Already 1.1 million customers can access high speed broadband. eircom is currently delivering high speed fibre broadband with technical, infrastructural and commercial expertise. The Belcarra launch, which has been hailed a huge success, further validates this position and the company is committed to working with Government to bringing high speed broadband capabilities to all homes and premises within Ireland.


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