A STRING OF towns in the west and north-west of the country will get access to some of the fastest broadband in Ireland over the next two years.
It was announced today that Enet-SSE is bringing fibre broadband connectivity to 115,000 homes and businesses in rural Ireland.
Enet-SSE is a new commercial joint venture between Ireland’s largest open-access fibre network provider Enet and the energy utility company.
Over the next few months Enet-SSE will deliver the new fibre-to-the-premises broadband network to nine towns in the west and north-west.
Enet is a wholesale broadband provider, meaning that it builds the infrastructure for fibre broadband.
The company, which has its head office in Limerick and was valued at up to €200 million after a recent investment, then charges retail broadband providers, like Sky and Virgin, to use the fibre networks that it created.
The retail providers in turn provide broadband access to customers.
The towns that will get the broadband coverage are: Ballinasloe, Roscommon town, Manorhamilton, Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal town, Ballybofey, Stranorlar and Buncrana.
The network roll-out will connect each town in phases. In total, it will cover 115,000 homes and businesses. The project is due to be completed in 2019.
The areas being covered have already been designated for a fibre rollout from Eir. The announcement today means that the towns will have two competitors offering alternate fibre broadband network.
The broadband that will be provided to the towns in the west of Ireland will have a maximum speed of 1,000Mbps. This would mean that something like a television show could be theoretically be downloaded in just a few seconds.
At the moment speeds of 100Mbps are relatively common in Ireland, while some urban areas in cities like Dublin and Cork have speeds of 300Mbps and 400Mpbs.
The project from Enet-SSE is separate to the National Broadband Plan, which is a state initiative that aimed at providing fibre broadband to rural areas across the country.
The National Broadband Plan has been plagued by a series of delays, and looks like it may not be finished until 2023.