e|net, the company that operates the state’s Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs), is aiming to double turnover this year and is on track to reach profitability by the end of 2008 according to chief executive Conal Henry.
“Our revenue was €3.8m last year.My ambition is to double that. We’re trying to grow at about 5% to 10% per month, “ he said.
Limerick-based e|net manages 27 MANs as a wholesale operator, facilitating access to the regional fibreoptic network. Its customers include Cable & Wireless, BT and Irish Broadband, which use the network to provide telecoms services to homes and businesses.
The MANs project has been controversial. Eircom has been a persistent critic and Henry came under fire from members of the Oireachtas telecoms committee last year when he was asked to explain e|net’s losses.
He said e|net has so far hit all the revenue targets it set in consultation with the Department Of Communications when it was awarded the contract.
“This thing is working and it’s working in exactly the way that people envisaged it would work. I would expect us to generate some sort of profitability over the next 24 months, “ he said.
Henry said it should also be considered, when assessing the Euro80m spend on the MANs to date, that the improvement in the national communications infrastructure was supporting job creation and helping businesses reduce to their phone and internet costs.
“Phase one cost €80m. One thousand jobs would pay that back. An 8% reduction in the government’s own phone bill would pay it back, “ Henry said.