Superfast broadband on way to Kerry towns

BUSINESSES in Tralee and Killarney should soon be able to avail of superfast broadband after the two towns were included in plans for a new national fibre broadband network which is to be constructed by ESB and Vodafone.

The two companies are to invest over €450 million in a new broadband network which they say will bring broadband speeds of between 200 to 1000 Mbps to an initial 50 towns.

The deal will see ESB's lines and masts being used to transport fibre broadband cables and will reach about 500,000 homes and businesses as part of the first phase. Both Tralee and Killarney are included in phase 1 of the planned rollout.

Work is due to start on the new network in the coming months with the first customers gaining access from the start of 2015 and a completion date of end 2018. No date for the completion of the networks in Tralee and Killarney has been announced. The new 100 per cent fibre network will be available for other telecom providers to sell wholesale onto customers.

ESB is splitting the deal on a 50:50 basis with Vodafone chosen as ESB's partner following a tendering process. ESB CEO Pat O'Doherty described the deal with Vodafone as a "milestone for Ireland".