e|net, the company which holds the concession to manage, maintain and operate the State’s Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) across 93 cities and towns, has warmly welcomed the call by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) to have the MANs in Cork and Waterford expanded.
Conal Henry, chief executive of e|net, said that the recommendations of the NCC represented a further endorsement of the MANs programme, in particular, its deployment as an open access fibre platform enabling multiple telcos to offer their products.
Citing another reference in the NCC report, that civil works account for 80% of the cost of rolling out fibre networks, Henry said that the existence of the open access MANs which can carry traffic by multiple carriers, has done away with the need for a succession of expensive and disruptive road openings by different telecom companies.
Mr. Henry also welcomed the NCC’s assertion that “developing world class, advanced broadband networks and services is essential to enable Ireland to support the smart economy” and that “high speed broadband in key regional centres is required to enable them to exploit future growth opportunities”.
The e|net chief executive said that the National Competitiveness Council’s call for “mandating the provision of ducting for telecommunications on an open access basis as part of all State infrastructure development programmes at regional, city, town and local level” has its prototype in the MANs programme which is an open access platform.
And he echoed the Council’s call for changes to planning regulations “to mandate fibre ducting in all new public, commercial and residential premises”.
“Given the success of the MANs to date, if these further policy innovations advocated by the NCC were fully and speedily adopted, Ireland could rapidly move to the forefront of the global table in the provision of top quality, fibre-based broadband”, Mr. Henry said.