Irish government reveals plans for 100% high-speed broadband by 2020

Plans to bring high-speed broadband to entire population of the Republic of Ireland firmed up in new strategy documents.

Posted on 17 July 2015 - Connectivity
Tibus BY Tibus

National Broadband Plan

The Irish Government will provide high-speed broadband to 100% of citizens by 2020, according to strategy documents published this week as part of the National Broadband Plan.

Minister for communications, Alex White TD, said that 85% of premises in Ireland will have access to high-speed connections by 2018, with the additional 15% being reached within the following two years. That includes the approximate 1.9 million citizens (around 33 per cent of the population) currently living ‘off-grid’ from broadband services in rural areas.

Telecom operators and ISPs in Ireland, like Tibus, will now be able to bid to provide part or all of the network. A tender process is due to begin in December, with the successful bidder or bidders starting work on building the new broadband network from mid-2016.

Minimum speeds

In order to bid, telecom firms must guarantee minimum download speeds of 30Mbps in the areas in which they propose to manage the network. The Irish Government will also be demanding minimum upload speeds of 6Mpbs, two-way latency of no more than 50 milliseconds, jitter of no more than 50 milliseconds, packet loss of no more than 0.1 per cent and 99.95 per cent service availability. 

The strategy documents also says the network must be capable of meeting future data demands. The intention is that the project will provide a network that is fit-for-purpose for 20 years.

Transparent pricing

And the network must offer a wholesale service that is open to all retailers and provides transparent pricing and access conditions to them.

That last point is particular relevant given the current discussions around access to the UK dark fibre network and Ofcom’s proposed intervention in that market.

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