Agile Networks, a specialist network integrator based in Dublin, has partnered with Calix, an international software company, to support enets Fibre to the Business initiative which is aimed at boosting the digital activities of SMEs in small towns across the country.
Ireland’s digital economy is valued at 8.4billion*, with consumers spending nearly €6 billion online. Only 24 per cent of Irish SMEs are trading in online sales however, and approximately 60 per cent of Ireland’s annual online spend going overseas, highlighting a significant potential for growth.
enet, the private company which operates and manages fibre optic infrastructure on behalf of the Irish State and which already serves the main service providers in the country with open access fibre, has recently rolled out its first fibredirect service in Claremorris, County Mayo, with the Agile Networks/Calix solution a key technology in the process.
As Ireland’s first fibre town, Claremorris’ broadband infrastructure received an investment of €500,000, meaning that broadband speeds of up to 250 megabits per second (Mbps) have been available in the community since late September.
enet are also set to make a further investment of €2.5m in fibre infrastructure to create three new fibre towns, in Loughrea, County Galway, Ardee, County Louth and Kilkenny City.
The Fibre to the Business initiative aims to extend services to local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in towns and cities throughout Ireland, particularly targeting small and medium-sized enterprises.
In response to the announcement enet’s Network Engineering Manager, Jim Moloney said ”We had looked at a number of vendors to provide a suitable solution for our ‘Fibre to the Business’ product, and early in the selection process it became clear that the Calix/Agile partnership was the right fit for enet. The scalability options offered with the E7 platform give us the flexibility to grow locations to match rollout needs without disruptive re-provisioning in order to scale up.”
Molony added, “Deployment of the Calix solution in Claremorris has proven very successful, with the simplicity with which services could be provisioned on the Calix platform being a major factor. This gives us great confidence in moving forward with ‘Fibre to the Business’ rollouts to many more locations, and strengthening further our Calix/Agile relationship.”
Darragh Richardson, Managing Director of Agile Networks, said “The Calix portfolio is an excellent fit for enet’s needs and we believe introducing this technology into the marketplace will be truly disruptive in allowing greater rollout of fibre services in Ireland. Our partnership with Calix underlines the commitment to combine leading technology with local expertise, which is critical to the success of a national project of this scale and importance.”
Through the Agile Networks/Calix partnership, the Calix E7-2 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP) and P- and T-Series fibre services gateways mean that small scale deployments can grow as customer demand increases, providing greater connectivity and increasing prospects for competitiveness and job creation.
Andy Lockhart, Senior Vice President, International Sales at Calix, said: “enet’s ‘Fibre to the Business’ is an ambitious and impressive way of allowing Irish businesses to remain competitive in both urban and rural communities and we are pleased to play a key role in this initiative. Our E7 solutions are ideal for this kind of demand- and cost-driven model and we look forward to many further deployments in Ireland.”