eir, Ireland’s largest telecommunications provider, has passed a record one million homes and businesses across Ireland with its new high-speed fibre-to-the-home (FFTH) network, meaning that Ireland is on its way to becoming one of the most fibre-connected countries in the world.
The announcement was made at an industry event this week at The Exo, Dublin’s highest office building, attended by Eamon Ryan, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Oliver Loomes, eir CEO, and David McRedmond, eir chairman.
In Dublin, the roll-out programme is already 34% complete, giving local communities and businesses access to internet speeds of up to 10gbps, roughly 100 times faster than the average connection.
eir has committed to rolling out its Gigabit Broadband network to 1.9 million front doors, or 84% of homes and businesses in Ireland, by the end of 2026.
The project will be completed two years ahead of the Government’s target to achieve nationwide high-speed broadband coverage of speeds in excess of 1,000 MB per second. It is expected that National Broadband Ireland, which is also rolling out at speed now, will deliver fibre connections to the remaining 16% of premises in the country by 2028, resulting in total fibre coverage before the end of the decade.
The network build has been supported by more than one billion euro of investment to date, with another €250 million of investment planned each year to the end of 2026. Approximately a quarter of a million additional premises will gain access to high-speed fibre to the home during each remaining year of the roll-out.
Commenting on the milestone Oliver Loomes, eir CEO said:
“I’m delighted that eir’s fibre roll-out sees Ireland become one of the best countries in Europe for broadband internet access. Last year we were in the top eight for fibre access; this year I expect we’ll be in the top five.
This is a major breakthrough for Ireland to become a top digital nation and it is in large part due to the efforts of our incredible teams who have worked tirelessly, in all conditions, to get this vital project done and connect homes and businesses for a better Ireland.
Similarly, the remarkable commitment of our shareholders to investment in this country’s future cannot go without acknowledgement, resulting not only in more than one million premises gaining access to our Gigabit Broadband, but in extensive 5G ultrafast mobile coverage, which is now available in 510 towns and cities across Ireland.”
Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Dep. Eamon Ryan, said:
“We are witnessing a double-tracked industrial revolution of our time, a revolution in renewable energy along with a revolution in digitalisation. Both of these changing landscapes are fundamentally interconnected. At a macro level, if we are to stay ahead of the energy and renewables curve, we need to ensure that technology firms, energy investors, off-shore wind companies know that Ireland is a modern, digitally advanced country to locate in. At a more micro level, high-speed internet access is increasingly important to be able run businesses or farms, to utilise further smart technologies to make those homes and businesses more energy efficient, to facilitate working remotely or to study from home in any part of the country, for example.
The Government commitment to providing high-speed broadband to every premises in Ireland by 2028 is well on schedule. The National Broadband Plan is designed to reach the hardest to reach places. In order to ensure nationwide connectivity, we see that it works best in partnership with the commercial sector. I congratulate eir on leading the way to meeting the goals of the National Digital Strategy, exceeding their own targets in the process.”
A landmark deal with InfraVia last year allowed eir accelerate the pace of fibre to the premises roll-out to an unprecedented 250,000 homes and businesses annually. The company has already made 5G mobile phone coverage available to more than 70% of the population with ultrafast data speeds in 510 towns and cities across Ireland.
This essential infrastructure will help to better connect communities throughout the country. In addition, eir has shown its commitment to its purpose, connecting for a better Ireland, through lasting community partnerships including sponsorship of Special Olympics Ireland since 1985, this is the longest sustained corporate charity partnership in the country. And through its continued support of the GAA, further cementing the long-standing relationship last year by becoming official sponsor of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship for the next five years.