Vodafone Ireland has signed a joint venture agreement with Irish energy company ESB to provide fibre optic broadband from 2015. It’s a €450 million project that’ll offer speeds of between 200Mbps and 1000 Mbps.
ESB began looking for a ‘fibre-to-the-building’ network partner in September 2012, eventually choosing Vodafone after a competitive tender process.
The scheme will use ESB’s existing overhead and underground electricity infrastructure. Initially it’ll reach 500,000 premises in 50 towns, with the initial phase of the project expected to be fully rolled-out by the end of 2018 (subject to European Commission approval).
ESB and Vodafone will offer Ireland’s other telecom operators access to the fibre network on a wholesale basis.
Pat Rabbitte, the Irish government minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, said “The National Broadband Plan underlines Government’s commitment to delivering high-speed broadband services to rural Ireland, with fibre as a core element. Complementing Government investment in rural areas, will be commercial investment in more densely populated areas, offering competitive high speed services over multiple technology platforms. Today’s announcement by ESB and Vodafone to create a joint venture company to deliver up to one gigabit of broadband speeds in 50 locations nationwide is a very exciting step in ensuring that regional towns can enjoy similar levels of connectivity to our cities, benefiting local business and helping to attract investment.”