Irish telco eircom announced yesterday that it plans to commit an extra EUR30 million to upgrade an additional 319 exchanges. The additional investment will allow up to 140,000 customers to connect to a broadband enabled exchange. In total more than 900 exchanges, representing 96% of the main lines in service, are to be broadband-enabled within the next two years. eircom has in the past received criticism from some quarters for its seemingly lack of commitment to broadband, but chairman Pierre Danon stated that his company ‘made a promise and we are delivering on that promise,’ before adding ‘this is the largest number of exchanges announced by eircom to be enabled. I have said repeatedly on record that eircom will remain frustrated until everyone who wants broadband can get it.’ Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey welcomed the news, but revealed that despite the investment some exchanges are in areas that are un-economic to be operated by the private sector. The minister said that he will shortly be announcing details of a national tender to provide broadband services to the 10% of the population who live in such areas.
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