Today eircom announced that it has reached a critical milestone in the rollout of its fibre network by passing the one millionth premises with superfast broadband. Alex White, T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources was in attendance at an event in Cahersiveen (home of the one millionth premises’ customer) along with eircom’s Chairman, Padraig McManus; Group CEO, Herb Hribar and Carolan Lennon, Managing Director of eircom Wholesale along with other local representative, businesses and residents. They were accompanied by local business man Alan Landers, owner of ‘San Antoine’ a B&B in the town, which was the one millionth premises passed.
Close to 50% of homes and businesses across Ireland can now avail of Eircom’s fibre broadband with speeds of up to 100Mb per second. In Kerry, 25,000 homes and businesses can avail of the benefits of fibre in Killarney, Ballyspillane, Muckross, Tralee, Killerisk, Castleisland, Killorglin and from today Cahersiveen.
Last week eircom announced that it is accelerating and expanding its fibre broadband plans to reach 1.6 million premises by the end of 2016. Once completed, fibre broadband will be available to every town in Ireland with a population of 900 residents or more, making significant progress in the provision of superfast broadband across every county in Ireland. Eircom is now more than halfway through its €1.5bn investment programme which includes €400 million for fibre broadband rollout.
The owner of the one millionth premises is Alan Landers, who runs a B&B in Cahersiveen. He said today: “It is wonderful to be the millionth premises passed by superfast fibre broadband and it will make a huge difference to my family’s life and my business at the B&B. All our domestic and international visitors want and expect to have reliable, fast broadband access as they go about their daily lives, so they can email, Skype or stream videos with their family and friends. The fact that we can offer that service now is a huge plus for us and should help us grow our business.
Mr Landers also runs a local computer club. He said “I had a teenage son interested in computers and it seemed like a great way to get young people into coding, a pretty useful life skill. We started meeting in the local secondary school on Saturday mornings and it’s been a runaway success. The kids do all the teaching, we only give a little guidance from time to time, it’s really amazing to watch. With high speed broadband in the town, we’ve now got lots more plans about what we can do. We’re hoping to set up video calls with other Coder Dojo groups around the world – Silicon Valley, Tokyo…you name it. The kids will be able to interact with each other and share ideas.”
Speaking at the event in Cahersiveen today, Alex White, T.D. and Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources said: “eircom’s continued progress in rolling out its fibre programme is enhancing the coverage and quality of broadband services throughout the country. The recent announcement by the company of its intention to increase its proposed coverage footprint is a further welcome development. This commercial investment represents a strong vote of confidence in the Irish economy and in eircom itself. It will significantly contribute towards achieving the government’s goal of ubiquitous high speed broadband availability. The government has firmly committed to providing high speed services in those areas where there is currently no case for commercial investment. This is a priority for government and for my department and will involve an ambitious build-out of infrastructure and services in rural Ireland. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that quality, future-proofed high-speed broadband services are available to everyone in Ireland, irrespective of where they live.”
Herb Hribar, eircom Group CEO, said: “Reaching one million homes and businesses is an important milestone – not just for eircom, but the entire country. Access to high speed broadband across rural, suburban and urban Ireland is crucial and no one is doing more than eircom. We are constructing a network that is future proofed with the capability to meet the ever growing demands for data from customers, at home, at work or in the classroom. Our ambition is to provide services to as many communities and residents as possible, demonstrated by our recent commitment to accelerate and expand the rollout of fibre broadband to 1.6 million homes and businesses.”
Carolan Lennon, Managing Director, eircom Wholesale, said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates our ability to repeatedly surpass key milestones. 70% of homes and businesses in the country will be able to experience high speed broadband when the network is completed. We are building an ‘open access’ network available to all operators, giving end user customers real choice when selecting a provider and our job is to ensure that communities realise that this network is here, is available today and ready to use.”