Ireland faces many challenges in the coming years, not least from the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst we have all appreciated the need for widespread availability of broadband, the Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the need for reliable high speed broadband with a full Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) been the preferred technology.
To fully unlock Ireland’s potential against competing destinations for job creation, exports and investments it requires that as a nation we transition from copper to fibre. The speed and success of this transition will depend on a number of factors
- Speed to roll out new fibre infrastructure
- Government policy
- Regulatory support
open eir is in the midst of the network transformation process with a multi-annual investment programme. The first phase, our rural Fibre to the Premises broadband programme, is already completed (Summer 2019) passing 340,000 premises.
The second phase of our roll out commenced in the summer of 2019 and the rollout has progressed at pace. This is an ambitious project supported by a €500m commercial investment. The programme will see open eir deliver full fibre superfast broadband to an additional 1.9 million homes and businesses and employ 1,000 open eir staff and contractors for the duration of the build.
As part of the project we will build approximately 50,000 km of new fibre routes which is more than enough to circumnavigate the globe. Once completed, our fibre network will cover 84% of the premises in Ireland. We have already enabled over 1 million premises, all of which today can order a full fibre connection.
To see if your home or business has already been upgraded we have developed a broadband checker – all you need to do is key in your eircode or address here.
If your premises have not been upgraded yet, the checker will let you know whether your premises is part of our 1.9million upgrade programme or whether it will be served by the National Broadband Plan.
We are building the network for all of Ireland and actively working to support the National Broadband Plan (NBP) via our infrastructure nationwide. Our network, combined with the NBP, will mean Ireland has a near ubiquitous fibre broadband network, making us one of the most connected countries in the world.
What is Fibre to the Premises?
Our new Full Fibre network connects homes and businesses across Ireland directly to our exchanges with a single pure fibre cable. Fibre to the Premises offers speeds up to 2Gbps. It has fewer faults and it is future proofed allowing us to deliver additional bandwidth growth as new services come on stream and requirements evolve. Presently we serve approximately 1 million homes and businesses with Fibre to the Premises.
Fibre to the Cabinet – connects your home with copper to the cabinet and then fibre to the exchange.
Fibre to the Cabinet offers speeds up to 100Mbps, our plan is to upgrade all of our Fibre to the Cabinet premises to FTTH within the next four years.
What are the benefits?
Access to high speed internet is vital for the rejuvenation of all of Ireland. Our fibre network will enable people to live and work wherever they wish in the country, easing pressure on our urban centres, reducing demand on schools, crèches and house prices, while improving traffic congestion and reducing associated carbon emissions.
With a full fibre network everyone in a household can do what they always did online, but faster, all at once and with zero disruptions. A slow connection will be a thing of the past.
Many businesses today are looking to use cloud services as they create genuinely new methods to reduce operating costs and do business. In cloud computing, where computing power and information is moved to the cloud, low latency and high capacity are critical requirements. FTTP technologies fulfill these requirements and ensure a good user experience.
A Full fibre connection is not just for broadband, the fibre connection will also accommodate voice requirements (voice over broadband VOB) which means there is no requirement for your existing copper connection. Care should be taken if a household is using a copper connection to support either medical alarms or home alarms. We recommend for those premises that the owner gets in touch with their alarm supplier to migrate their service to one that supports a fibre connection or a mobile network.