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Is your area FINALLY going to get super-fast broadband?

Eircom plans to be the biggest fibre provider in the land.

Image: Shutterstock/asharkyu

Updated 17.50

EIRCOM HAS ANNOUNCED it is expanding its high-speed broadband to a further 300,000 homes in 1,070 communities throughout Ireland.

This includes 300 areas that currently have no access to high-speed broadband, including Fybagh, Co Kerry; Blacksod, Co Mayo; Goleen, Co Cork; Maam, Co Galway; and Ring, Co Waterford.

Eircom said that about half of Ireland – 1.2 million homes and businesses – currently has access to high-speed broadband on their network and the company remains on track to reach 70% of the country by the end of 2016.

By 2020, that figure will rise to 80% of the country, with 35% of all homes and business accessing broadband speeds of up to 1Gb/s when construction has been completed. By then, its fibre footprint will extend to 1.9 million premises.

Want to check if your village or town is getting access? A county-by-county breakdown is available on the company’s website .

Eircom1 Taoiseach Enda Kenny launches Eircom's eFibre network in 2013 Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

But despite boasting the biggest fibre network in the country, Eircom still lags significantly behind UPC when it comes to enticing the customers.

Eircom had 242,000 fibre subscribers in March this year, compared to 365,800 for its super-fast broadband rival. However, the customer base of the former state telecoms provider has more than doubled in the past 12 months, compared to a 5% rise at UPC.

In an interview at TheJournal.ie’s offices today, Jon Florsheim, the managing director of Eircom’s consumer division, admitted UPC had been given “a bit of a head start” and his company was still playing catch-up in its fibre business.

We’re going to be well ahead of those guys in terms of our (network) offering of super-fast broadband across Ireland … our ambition is to be the biggest,” he said.

Here’s what he had to say when we whether Eircom was satisfied with the take-up of its fibre broadband after spending over €290 million on its network so far:

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Communications Minister Alex White welcomed the announcement and said officials in his department will “revise their National Broadband Plan intervention assumptions and models to take account of eircom’s expanded plans”.

Torlach Denihan, Director of the Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF), said the telecoms industry has invested about €3.2 billion in network infrastructure and licences since 2010.

He called on the government to “respond to the level of industry investment by committing sufficient funding via the National Broadband Plan to deliver high-speed broadband to those areas where it is uneconomic for the private sector to do so”.

Additional reporting Peter Bodkin

First published 2.44pm

READ: High-speed broadband could be Eircom’s saviour >

READ: Good news – super, incredibly fast broadband is on its way to 350 towns in Ireland >

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Órla Ryan

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