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vodafone and esb to build new fibre network

ESB chief executive Pat O'Doherty, Vodafone Ireland chief executive Anne O'Leary and Communications Minister Alex White (pictured above) were celebrating the news that Europe has given the green light for Vodafone and the ESB to team up and develop a new €450m fibre broadband network.

The service is scheduled for 50 large towns and suburbs and is targeting 500,000 Irish homes and businesses.

The companies are promising families broadband speeds of up to 1,000Mbs, more than 10 times the rate of Eircom's current 'eFibre' broadband services.

The plan is to use ESB power lines to carry fibre-optic cabling directly into homes and businesses. The first of 50 towns to go live will be Cavan, at the start of 2015.

Mr O'Doherty said the plan was a huge milestone for ESB.

"The fibre-to-the-building broadband network will be the most significant development in Ireland's broadband sector to date and will be a real boost for regional Ireland and the economy as a whole," Mr O'Doherty said.

"We will create an entirely new type of connectivity - seamless, instant and powerful - so that people in towns like Cavan can have the same amazing online experience as Tokyo."