A key principle of the NBP is to support and stimulate commercial investment through policy and regulatory measures. This has acted as a catalyst to commercial investment by the telecommunications sector.
Since the publication of the NBP in 2012, the commercial telecommunications sector has invested over €2.75bn. This was primarily on upgrading and modernising networks which support the provision of high speed broadband and mobile telecommunications services.
Significant additional investment is expected over the coming years. Today over 1.75m or 74% of premises in Ireland can access commercially available high speed broadband services.
Various players in the market have ramped up the speed of their rollout, for example:
- SIRO is investing €450m to provide fibre broadband to 500,000 premises across 51 towns on an open access basis.In February 2019 it announced further investment in its high speed broadband deployment in Donegal.
- Virgin, currently serving 900,000 premises, is investing high speed broadband rollout to a further 100,000 premises.
- In February 2019 Imagine announced plans to invest €300 million a high speed broadband deployment across Ireland. The announcement follows on from an announcement in 2018 of a partnership with global asset management group Brookfield and €120m funding to roll out high speed broadband across underserved areas of the country.
- In February 2019 eir announced that its new FTTH investment of up to €500m over a 5 year period, to upgrade eir's legacy copper network across 180 towns and cities. This is in addition to eir's deployment of high speed broadband to 300,000 rural premises under its Commitment Agreement with the Department.
The BLUE areas in the High Speed Broadband Map cover over 1.75m premises. These are areas where commercial operators have rolled out a high speed broadband network or have previously committed to delivering high speed broadband. So far, approximately 1.75m premises in the BLUE areas can get high speed broadband of a minimum of 30 Megabits per second.
The LIGHT BLUE areas represent areas where a commercial operator (eir) has committed to deliver High Speed Broadband access to 300,000 rural premises. eir have stated their intention to conclude this deployment in mid-2019.
This commitment is on a fully commercial basis. The Commitment Agreement is available here.