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Friday 29 August 2014

'Europe's fastest broadband' set to be launched in Dublin

Adrian Weckler

Published 01/07/2014 | 16:44

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Broadband speeds on the rise. Picture: Thinkstock

A new ‘ultra broadband’ service is to be launched in Dublin, with speeds of up to 1,000 megabits-per-second (Mbs) offered to residents in some of the capital’s neighbourhoods.

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The service, launched by Magnet Networks, will target three areas in Dublin for the fibre broadband technology. Sandyford, Stillorgan and North Dublin’s Belmayne are first on the list, according to the firm’s networks manager, Darren O'Donohoe.

“The service we’re offering will give customers up to 1,000 megabits per second,” said, networks manager in Magnet. “It will be the fastest consumer broadband offering in Europe. You can download a full high definition movie in seven seconds.”

Mr O’Donohoe declined to say what the minimum guaranteed speed would be but said that “typical” speeds would be over 300Mbs per second. At present, UPC’s fastest broadband service is 200Mbs while Eircom’s fastest speed is “up to” 100Mbs. He said that the new service will cost €50 per month.

Recent official figures show that average Irish broadband speeds have jumped in the last 12 months, with over half of all subscriptions now over 10Mbs and over a third of subscriptions over 30Mbs.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte, said that the government wants to subsidise fibre broadband rollout to over 1,000 rural villages outside existing commercial broadband areas in a project that could cost up to €512m.

Magnet’s announcement comes ahead of a new €400m fibre broadband service to be launched by the ESB and Vodafone in large towns around Ireland. The service, which is expected to be formally confirmed by the two companies tomorrow, is expected to offer fibre broadband over ESB lines in areas that are not covered by existing fibre broadband services.

Eircom has hinted that it might challenge the new ESB Vodafone service as it believes the joint venture may be using state assets in an uncompetitive way.

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