Ireland promises 30Mbps broadband for all - and higher speeds for urban areas

Ireland promises 30Mbps broadband for all - and higher speeds for urban areas

Summary: Ireland has announced a plan to put super-fast broadband within reach of every home and business in the country, and up to 100Mbps for half of the population.

TOPICS: Broadband, Fiber, EU

Every home and business in Ireland is to get a 30Mbps broadband connection within the coming years.

Under a government plan announced by communications minister Pat Rabbitte on Thursday, the country is to spend €175m in the coming years on improving its broadband infrastructure.

The universal 30Mbps rollout, which should cover every home and business "no matter how rural or remote", will be complete in the life of the current parliament – no later than April 2016.

The plan also sets out more ambitious targets for Ireland's more populous areas: the government aims to have half of the population able to access between 70Mbps and 100Mbps before 2015, with the majority expected to get speeds at the higher end of the scale. Another 20 percent of the population, and potentially as much as 35 percent around smaller towns and villages, will be able to get 40Mbps.

"Accelerating broadband rollout is not a new idea and we have seen progress in recent years. However, demand for bandwidth is increasing fast and now is the time to take a significant leap forward," Rabitte wrote in the foreword to the plan (PDF).

While the government has set aside funds to underpin the scheme, it only intends to intervene "where – but only where – it is evident that the market will not deliver. Ireland's population is more broadly dispersed than that of many other countries so reaching the target will require state investment to encourage the private sector to offer services which would not otherwise make commercial sense", it said.

The government will play its part elsewhere to ease the path of operator's infrastructure expansion, however, including tackling issues of planning and road opening, boosting consumer and enterprise internet use, looking at spectrum policy and "maximising the use of state assets where possible".

The number of broadband subscription in Ireland has risen from 602,000 to nearly 1.7 million over the last five years, although less than 10 percent of business broadband subscriptions are currently over 10Mbps.

Topics: Broadband, Fiber, EU

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • What's that in the sky?

    True to the form of Irish politicians, the minister also promised pigs with fully functioning wings.

    Seriously, when the national broadband scheme of a broke country like ours is based on 3G networking then this is a pipe dream. Most rural areas can't even get a signal on these networks and are too far from exchanges for modest ADSL.

    I'd say there's small print in whatever paper he was waving about that includes only houses within Dublin 4 or some such crap. That's how things are done here.
    • It's "PIIGS"

      And you wonder why these European nations are in huge debt-crisis, huh? The socialists still have not waken up yet.
  • Where's the plan ?

    This is a bit dewey-eyed.

    There is no money set aside. Their are only indicative sources of funding.
    There is no plan because allegedly the plan is technology neutral. There are no contracts, tenders, regulatory directions, legislation; no consultants, engineers, or implementation timescales. There will be no public reporting and there are no means of measuring success or failure.

    So stand-by for a bargain basement LTE fix and some hand-wringing about State Aid rules.
  • show me the plan

    This is unadulterated nonsense and spin, it's more like a wishlist of things they would like. The only actual commitment given is to hire a mapping guy to do some mapping maybe, when the sky turns pink.

    Here's one analysis of the subject:
  • How? They're bankrupt

    By borrowing money from the Chinese? Do the Chinese even have anything left over after all that lending to the current US administration?
  • typical

    The usual grandstanding then.....