Eir on course to hit broadband target agreed with Government

Telco says it will soon have passed 70,000 homes with next-gen broadband

Technicians working on behalf of Eir install fast broadband to a home. Photograph: Karl Hussey/Fennell Photography

Technicians working on behalf of Eir install fast broadband to a home. Photograph: Karl Hussey/Fennell Photography

 

Eir says it will have connected, or at least passed, the first 70,000 homes of the 300,000 previously earmarked for the Government’s National Broadband Plan this week.

The premises were once part of the State-backed scheme, but were taken out at the last minute and controversially included in Eir’s commercial rollout following an agreement between the company and the Department of Communications in April.

The deal obliges Eir to deliver next-generation broadband to the 300,000 premises by the end of 2018 or else face financial penalties.

The contract is separate from the National Broadband Plan process, which covers the remaining 542,000 households in the State not served by commercial operators.

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten believes the deal, which was questioned by other parties in the National Broadband Plan process, will deliver high-speed broadband to the premises sooner than would have been the case under the plan.

Eir said it will have passed 100,000 premises with its new high-speed fibre product, which can deliver download speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second, by the end of this week.

It said that some 70,000 of these premises were part of the 300,000 contract with the department.

“Eir is on track to deliver on this commitment by the end of next year. The first 70,000 premises of the 300,000 commercial rollout programme have now been built, reaching an important second milestone in the contract,” it said.

Eir’s rival for the Government’s National Broadband Plan contract, Siro, an ESB/Vodafone joint venture, said it now had 85,000 fibre-to-the-home connections in 12 regional towns and urban areas and was currently building out into 10 further towns.

Eir, Siro and Enet will bid against each other for the Government’s broadband contract later this year with work on the scheme expected to start in the middle of next year.