The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) to extend high-speed broadband to all of rural Ireland over the next five years was welcomed today by Conal Henry, the Chief Executive of enet, which has built a 1 Gigabit-per-second fibre broadband network in rural North Kerry to showcase its capability to deliver the NBP programme. The network was officially launched this morning by An Taoiseach, Mr. Kenny.
Mr. Henry was speaking in Ballyseedy, Co. Kerry, at an event to mark the company’s construction and activation of its fibre broadband network. Costing €650,000 and providing fibre-broadband connections directly to approximately 340 premises in the locality, it is enet’s showcase project for the National Broadband Plan.
“We’re not here today to promise what we will do, but to demonstrate what we have done. We’ve funded and built this local network, and families here are now enjoying genuinely world class broadband services. Furthermore, end users have a range of service providers to choose from, a fact that is facilitated by our open access model,” Mr. Henry added.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny commented: “The National Broadband Plan is an essential component of the Government’s plan to keep the recovery going by providing the necessary infrastructure for economic growth and job creation. I am pleased to launch enet’s fibre broadband network for North Kerry today which is a welcome service for this part of the country which, like much of rural Ireland, has been lagging behind for too long. The Government is determined to eliminate the digital divide between rural and urban areas by delivering high speed broadband to all non-commercial rural areas by 2020. The funding for the roll-out of this has been allocated in the Government’s capital plan.”
The event was also attended by the Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Deputy Jimmy Deenihan, who comes from nearby Finuge. He said that the provision of high-speed fibre broadband would be a wonderful asset for families and businesses in the locality. “I greatly welcome the fact that this enet project has enabled people living in one of the most rural parts of the country to enjoy the same broadband services as people living in our cities and towns. That is what the Government’s National Broadband Plan is all about, and I look forward to the day when all families and businesses across the whole of rural Ireland can have the economic, educational and social benefits that modern fibre broadband connectivity can bring”.
Already there are four retail service providers – Bbnet, Kernet, Permanet and Ripplecom – offering broadband services to the householders over enet’s network. Other service providers are also expected to start offering services to local householders and businesses in the coming weeks and months.
Mr. Henry also highlighted the impact of enet’s management of the State-owned 94 Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) broadband platforms across the country, which were built to stimulate competition. “We have removed the reliance on network ransom-strips by creating a real alternative and operating a genuinely open-access network that any service providers can utilise. And while open-access is now on everybody’s lips, at enet it’s been a way of life for over a decade. Every day, we make it easier and cheaper for over 60 different telecoms service providers to offer world-class broadband to over 600,000 individuals, homes and businesses all across the country.”