- 08 Sep 17
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD has unveiled plans to deliver world-class broadband network for regional Ireland
The new commercial joint venture between Ireland’s largest open-access fibre network provider enet and energy utility SSE, is aimed at commercially bringing superfast fibre broadband connectivity to 115,000 homes and businesses in rural Ireland.
he enet-SSE roll-out plans have been unveiled this afternoon by Minister Naughten at an event taking place at Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. In the coming months, enet-SSE will deliver the new fibre-to-the-premises broadband network to nine towns in the West and North West, beginning in Ballinasloe and continuing on to Roscommon Town, Manorhamilton, Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal Town, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, and Buncrana. The network roll-out will connect each town in phases, will be completed in 2019, and will support around 700 contractor jobs at peak delivery.
Minister Denis Naughten said:
“This joint venture between enet and SSE will deliver world-class high speed broadband to 115,000 premises, which is tremendous news for consumers and businesses in regional Ireland. With an investment in excess of €100m, which equates to a multi-million euro investment each month during the network roll-out, the enet-SSE project delivery is expected to support 700 contractor jobs and local supply chain involvement in the West and North-West. Operated as a wholesale, open-access fibre network, it will be available to Ireland’s retail broadband providers, giving consumers choice and keeping prices competitive. enet-SSE is a new commercial joint venture between enet-owner Granahan McCourt Capital, the Dublin-based technology, media and telecommunications investment group, and SSE, Ireland’s second largest energy utility and one of Ireland’s leading developers and investors in cleaner energy infrastructure. The project is being delivered at a joint enet-SSE investment cost of more than €100m.”
David C. McCourt, founder of Granahan McCourt Capital and chairman of enet, said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with SSE, which as a FTSE 100 company and one of the largest and most respected energy companies in Ireland and the UK, offers extensive telecoms and infrastructure experience and substantial resources to employ.
“This investment is extremely positive news for regional Ireland and further evidence of our commitment to invest money where it matters to solve Ireland’s biggest connectivity needs, which are essential to future-proof its digital future. By jointly deploying our expertise and combined resources, we will extend world class connectivity to some of the most underserved areas of the country.”
Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director of SSE Ireland, said:
“We are very excited to be working with enet and Granahan McCourt Capital on such a key project for Ireland, developing a commercial relationship that will bring huge benefits to regional Ireland through the delivery of superfast fibre connectivity to 115,000 homes and businesses. At SSE, our renewable energy projects have allowed us to make a positive difference for communities across rural Ireland over the last decade, particularly through investment in local jobs, enterprises and communities. Now, working through our new venture enet-SSE, we’re delighted that we will be delivering vital communications infrastructure that will make a real difference for regional communities and will support local contractor jobs during network roll-out.
“As one of the broadest-based utility companies operating across Ireland and the UK, we have immense experience in delivering essential services to homes and businesses. This includes around 15 years’ experience in telecoms and broadband in Great Britain, where we have developed and operate almost 14,000km of high capacity fibre optic networks. As we continue to grow our business in Ireland, we’re excited about this opportunity to use our experience via enet-SSE to commercially develop broadband infrastructure for the evolving telecoms market here.”
Lyn Donnelly, Manager of Ballinasloe Area Community Development Ltd, said:
“enet-SSE’s roll-out of a high-speed broadband network to include Ballinasloe is a welcome and huge boost for the area. It is something that we have campaigned strongly for over the last couple of years and will help grow our strong business community, allowing us to maximise our potential for job creation and inward investment in Ballinasloe. It will also provide a much-needed broadband network for those of us living here and we are all looking forward to working together with enet-SSE on this exciting project.”
Since its acquisition of enet in 2013, Granahan McCourt Capital has already invested over €100 million, to complement the State owned MANs fibre network in 94 regional towns, including a dark fibre backhaul infrastructure transiting the rail and gas network and three proprietary metro networks including a 100km fibre ring in Dublin.
UK-listed SSE plc, which provides greener energy to 800,000 home and business customers in Ireland, has invested over €2 billion since 2008 in growing its energy Wholesale, Retail and Enterprise operations across the island. In Great Britain, SSE operates 13,700km of high capacity national and metropolitan fibre optic networks, and provides retail broadband to British homes.