e|net, the company which manages Phase 1 of the State’s fibre platform called Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs), has today been appointed by the Government to manage, maintain and market Phase 2 of the programme which covers an additional 66 towns.
On appointment, e|net confirmed that ten of the Phase 2 MANs (Tralee, Killarney, Castleisland, Listowel, Navan, Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Longford Town, Blarney and the combined Carrigaline / Ringaskiddy / Passage West) will be activated and immediately available for services with the remaining 56 towns to come on stream over the next 12 months.
Announcing the contract Minister Ryan said, “The MANs play a pivotal role in the delivery of high speed broadband to regions throughout the country at a time when the advancement of a knowledge economy has never been more important. The ESRI predicts that around 70% of our exports will be services by 2025. Most of those services will be branded digitally. Broadband for our towns will provide the basis for investment and jobs throughout Ireland. I congratulate e|net on winning this contract and look forward to them not only utilising the MANs to their full potential in terms of driving competition, increasing choice of service providers, but also increasing the quality of broadband services offered and reducing telecoms prices generally.”
On confirmation of the announcement, Conal Henry, e|net CEO said, “Our experience with Phase 1 is that, over time, the existence of a MAN has a major impact on the range, quality and value of communications solutions for businesses and homes in the area. So we look forward to delivering the same exciting results for Phase 2 towns.”
The telecom companies have responded positively to the announcement with Gerry Fahy, Strategy Director of Vodafone Ireland commenting, “Vodafone recently announced a €17million multi-year deal to access the MANs network. The rollout of Phase 2 will enable Vodafone to extend and deepen mobile broadband coverage outside Dublin in a cost efficient and effective manner. Vodafone welcomes commencement of Phase 2, as access to fibre in the additional 66 towns will enable us to further improve our regional and rural mobile broadband capability”.