Ireland’s largest broadband provider Eircom has announced it will be delivering 1Gbps connectivity via fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology to 66 communities throughout the country, in a press release today. The 1Gbps FTTH speed will allow for a high-definition film to be downloaded in less than a minute and is ten times faster than the maximum 100Mbps speeds available on Eircom’s current fibre network based on a combination of fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and VDSL Vectoring copper access technology. The company says it will continue to invest in the existing fibre network programme and, having brought its completion date closer, says that 1.6 million Irish homes and businesses will have fibre (FTTC) by mid-2016, six months sooner than originally stated, after announcing the milestone of one million residential/commercial premises reached by the FTTC rollout last month.
The national PSTN operator has already conveyed the new Gigabyte broadband plans to regulator ComReg and says work will commence next month at three locations – Cavan, Kilkenny and Letterkenny – before the rollout continues across Ireland’s five largest cities (Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford), major regional centres and every county town. Construction in each location is scheduled to take around six months, while rival operators will be granted the same ‘open access’ to the FTTH network as the incumbent’s existing FTTC/VDSL/Vectoring broadband infrastructure. Eircom CEO Richard Moat says the project is a ‘strategic response’ to a similar venture from ESB-Vodafone Ireland which was given the go-ahead by the European Commission (EC) yesterday.