Telephone poles to be used to bring broadband to thousands in Laois

Broadband access further in rural Laois

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Telephone poles to be used to bring broadband to thousands in Laois

Broadband access in Laois set for expansion.

Thecompany behind a new broadband project claims it can deliver high speed internet access to 6,000 homes and businesses rural Laois by using telephone infrastructure.

Open Eir is running fibre along its existing telephone poles to connect rural Laois to its network. It is part of a nationwide rollout to 300,000 rural premises. The company says it has already provided fibre to 22k premises in Laois.

Laois County Council’s staff and councillors were given a presentation by Open Eir’s sales director Orlagh Nevin at the May meeting.

“When we are done, just under 28,000 homes and businesses will have access to high speed broadband, by the end of 2018,” she said.

Laois County Council's Director of Services Kieran Kehoe.

“This is very good news for rural Laois, it is very obvious when you are driving around, you can see the black box on the pole, if you see it, the service is either available, or will be within six months. Before this was announced, these areas were part of the 3-5 year National Broadband Plan,” he said. 

Laois County Council’s broadband officer Antoinette Brennan has welcomed the extra connections.

“This is happening as we speak. It is important for economic development, not just for businesses, but for commuters’ abilities to work from home,” she said.

Open Eir is not directly selling broadband packages, this will be done by service providers such as Eir, Sky and Virgin.

The National Broadband Plan contract is yet to be awarded, with Open Eir, Siro and eNet all tendering for it.

A major fibre optic cable laying project is underway in Portlaoise by Siro to extend superfast broadband.

Not every house will be connected under Open Eir's plan, particularly if they are located at the end of a country lane.

Households and businesses can find out if they are among the lucky ones after June 28 by visiting www.fibrerollout.ie and searching using their Eircode.