Westport is among 13 locations to be included in Phase 3 of eircom’s fibre-broadband rollout across the country.
According to an eircom announcement last week, Phase 3 will pass 125,000 homes and businesses in eight counties in Ireland by Easter 2013. Approximately 350,000 premises will be able to avail of new services of 40Mbps and beyond when the network launches next year.
The announcement brings the number of locations announced to date to 40. Two other Mayo towns, Ballina and Castlebar, were included in Phase 2, which was announced last April. Work on networks in Phase 2 is scheduled to be competed by December of this year.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring said he was ‘delighted’ that Westport has been selected for Phase 3, explaining that work is expected to commence on the Westport network this winter.
Mayo Fine Gael TD and Vice Chairman of Joint Committee on Transport and Communication, John O’Mahony also welcomed the news. “It’s widely accepted now that the provision of broadband is a vital part of the infrastructure of any community in the same way that transport and the road network is,” he said. “My hope would be that when eircom have completed these towns section that they will look at other areas in the county to start work in.”
On August 30 last, Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte launched ‘Delivering a Connected Society – A National Broadband Plan for Ireland’, which outlines the Government’s plan for providing high-speed broadband to every home and business in the State. The Government has also committing to doing so during its lifetime in office.
According to the National Broadband Plan’s targets, the Government aims to deliver broadband at speeds of 70Mbps to 100Mbps to more than 50 percent of the population by 2015; a minimum 40Mbps, and ‘in many cases much faster speeds’, to at least a further 20 percent of the population, and potentially as much as 35 percent around smaller towns and villages; and a minimum of 30Mbps for every remaining home and business in the country – no matter how rural or remote.
A number of weeks after the Government announced its National Broadband Plan, cable operator UPC doubled the basic broadband speed it offers entry-level customers from 25Mbps to 50Mbps. The company is also offering 100Mbps and 150Mbps packages, bettering its previous top speed of 100Mbps.
The communities named by eircom for Phase 3 fibre rollout are: Westport, Co Mayo; Churchfield, Cork City; Waterford City; Kilkenny City; Sligo Town; Mullingar, Co Westmeath; Tralee, Co Kerry; Crown Alley, Dolphin’s Barn, Nutley and Beggars Bush and Coolock in Dublin City; and Balbriggan, Co Dublin.
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