Aurora Telecom, part of Gas Networks Ireland, has begun works on the final portion of a second Dublin to Cork fibre optic link. The project is part of a €35 million investment plan by Aurora to expand its dark fibre infrastructure in Ireland. The development will greatly increase Ireland’s digital capability and deliver high speed fibre connectivity for customers. Scheduled for completion by Q3 2019, the new section of network serving Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow and Kildare will open up new regional job creation opportunities from both Irish and international investments. When completed, Aurora will operate a fully resilient national ring network linking Dublin with the midlands, west, south and east, providing future proof capacity to meet long-term broadband requirements for the towns and cities along its route.

Aurora provides services to telecoms providers and major IT companies. It operates the most modern dark fibre infrastructure in Ireland and has been the partner of choice for providers establishing sub-sea transatlantic fibre connectivity to Ireland. Along with a national network, Aurora operates an extensive Metropolitan Area Network or MAN in the Dublin area.

The fibre network is critical infrastructure, which enables large-scale telecoms operators, such as mobile and telecoms companies and large data centres, to transmit vast amounts of data. Given that much of the network has been designed to sit alongside the national gas network, it is subject to regular screening to monitor for interference. This means that the Aurora network is the most secure in Ireland – a key consideration for users, where even a minute of downtime could result in significant losses.

The network’s proximity to the gas network also facilitates a secure energy supply, another key driver for data centre location. With grid connection proving increasingly challenging, many data centres are seeking connection to the gas network to allow on-site generation from natural gas and renewable gas. The data centre industry is estimated to be worth €7.18bn to the Irish economy since 2010, according to a report by Grant Thornton and IDA Ireland.

Denis O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Gas Networks Ireland:

“With this new development, Gas Networks Ireland and Aurora are ensuring that companies seeking resilient high capacity data networks can now choose locations not only in Dublin but throughout the country while retaining the same level of national and international connectivity.

“The completion of this additional Dublin to Cork link will be a major step forward in terms of Ireland’s connectivity. Not only will it create opportunity for businesses in those cities, but it will strengthen the resilience of the entirety of our dark fibre network. Aurora already facilitates the connectivity needs of some of the largest tech companies in the world, based in Ireland. This investment will further strengthen Ireland’s position as a technology hub.”

The infrastructure being created by Aurora supports not only Irish data centre expansion, but any business which uses the internet, by improving connectivity and increasing opportunities for competition in the Irish telecoms market.

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