John Shine, managing director of Eircom Group’s Networks division, says that after signing up its 100,000th paying fibre customer this March, the telco is on track to pass one million homes and businesses with fibre-optic broadband this summer. SiliconRepublic notes that Mr Shine came to Eircom last year from Electricity Supply Board (ESB) to oversee the former telecom monopoly’s network rollout. Whilst at the power utility, he oversaw a EUR6 billion (USD8.08 billion) network upgrade.
The Eircom official says that the operator has increased its rollout target for its national fibre-optic network by 200,000 households and business premises across the Republic, to 1.4 million. ‘Our ambition by 2016 is to have 1.4 million homes passed with our next generation access (NGA) network and that’s going really well,’ Shine said, adding: ‘This summer we expect to have one million homes passed. If you think from a standing start in April 2012, where we put our first cabinet in place to have over 4,000 erected and over one million homes passed … In the course of two years to deliver out fibre closer to our customers, I think we’ve installed 7,000km of fibre and installed 3,500km of sub-duct. The scale of all the components of the project is huge.’
The MD went on to say that currently more than 15 alternative operators are using its infrastructure to provide NGA products to their own customers. He also confirmed that the incumbent was one of the first in the world to deploy VDSL2 Vectoring technology in its next generation fibre access network, boosting broadband speeds up to a maximum 100Mbps. By July 2016, Shine estimates that 70% of the country across 26 counties will have access to fibre broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps.