Granahan McCourt Capital founder used his headline keynote to present a blueprint for building customer centric open-access networks and praised the Irish Government for making long-term decisions that will benefit rural communities for generations to come. #pressrelease

October 25, 2022

3 Min Read

AMSTERDAM – Network X – “The telco industry has grown up making decisions that put the network first and the customer second. In today’s world, that’s backwards.” This was the warning given by telecoms entrepreneur David McCourt at last week’s Network X event, as he delivered a highly anticipated headline keynote at the most comprehensive telco event in the world.

As chairman and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital, the worldwide investors in technology, media and telecommunications, McCourt is described by the Economist as “possessing impeccable credentials as a telecom revolutionary.” Among his many ventures, he is the founding investor and Chairman of National Broadband Ireland (NBI), which is delivering the largest Public Private Partnership in European telecoms, responsible for the Irish Government’s $3billion National Broadband Plan. McCourt praised the country’s policymakers for making decisions which he described as “incredibly bold, ambitious and long-term.”

Taking to the stage at Network X, McCourt spoke about new and emerging business models and approaches that are disrupting the status quo in telecoms.

With over 30 years of experience in financing, designing, building and operating networks all over the world, McCourt has been responsible for introducing a number of industry firsts. Through various ventures, Granahan McCourt was the first to build a competitive network in the US; the first overbuilder; and the first to bundle video, voice and data, now considered the norm.

“The common drivers behind these moves is a focus on improving quality of service and making customer experience seamless, as well as understanding how to create networks with real scale. I believe that these are the common factors that all Altnet owners should be measuring success on, and the best business model to deliver them is a customer-centric, open-access wholesale model,” said McCourt.

Industry research from KPMG suggests that up to 80% of network owners want an open-access platform to increase penetration and McCourt confirmed appetite is growing in all major markets around the world.

In 2013, Granahan McCourt bought Irish-based Enet, which operates the Irish state’s metropolitan area networks. With this, McCourt built one of the first non-regulated open-access networks in the world and quickly grew it to serve over 70 global and regional service providers. It was here, he says, that the company started to develop its own technology platform specifically for open-access, that underpins its ability to drive scale by designing and developing the business with the customer at the heart of every decision.

Moving from one of the first non-regulated open-access networks in Enet to one of the biggest in NBI, Granahan McCourt has continued to build out the second generation of this technology platform, with inherent knowledge of operating high-performance open-access networks. 

The result has surpassed all expectations, with NBI having nearly 60 ISPs onboarded and integrated within a year. Penetration has hit over 30% in areas where the network has been live for only six months, rising to 40% in 12 months.

“Today, Ireland boasts one of the best talent pools globally in fibre networks and we are developing this into a Centre of Excellence which will serve the rest of Europe’s telecom needs. The experience within this Irish Centre of Excellence can provide the blueprints for Altnets in other nations to build customer-centric networks.

“The move to open-access wholesale is underway and like in everything, there will be winners and losers. The winners, in my view, will be the ones that design their business around the customer,” concluded McCourt.

Granahn McCourt

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