Agile Networks secures €5m contract with HEAnet

Firm’s high bandwidth internet network to be used by one million students and staff

Irish-owned Agile Networks has secured a seven-year contract worth €5 million to provide a 100 gigabyte internet network to HEAnet, which provides connectivity and IT services to education and research institutions across Ireland.

Agile secured the contract following a tender process, and will utilise technology from Juniper Networks, an international network manufacturer.

The rollout will take place over an 18-month period at 200 locations around the country, with Agile then providing support services for a five-year term.

The high bandwidth network will be available to about 1 million students and staff across Ireland’s education and research sector, including third-level colleges and universities.


This upgraded network will enable colleges to roll out new online services to students and to increase collaboration across institutions.

Based in Dublin, Agile is the largest independent network integrator in Ireland. It was set up in 2011 following a management buyout to design, build and support IT networks for the private and public sectors.

It now supports more than 1.8 million end users across 1,600 sites for 100 major customers, including 16 of the top 25 internet service providers in Ireland.

Latest abridged accounts for Agile show it made an after-tax profit of €1.4 million in the year to the end of September 2015. It has annual turnover of close to €10 million and employs 23 staff.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Darragh Richardson, Agile's managing director, said the HEAnet deal represented the company's first multi-million euro, multi-year contract win. "It allows us to invest in the business and to scale up and make more commitments in resourcing and engineering," he said.

“This is hopefully the first of many new business wins that will help us scale the company.”

John Boland, chief executive of HEAnet, said the contract represented a "milestone" in its search to improve connectivity for its members.

“Our ongoing challenge is to ensure that we provide access to the same sort of internet connectivity for education and research as anywhere in Europe,” he said.

“We achieve this through the provision of a ultra-high bandwidth, multiple gigabit network, which is dedicated for use solely by our education and research clients.”

Established in 1983 by the Irish universities, HEAnet now provides essential e-infrastructure services across all levels of Irish education and research. It receives funding from the various universities and colleges, the Higher Education Authority, Government departments and the European Commission.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times