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National Broadband Ireland Announced as Preferred Bidder for National Broadband Plan

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National Broadband Ireland Announced as Preferred Bidder for National Broadband Plan

National Broadband Ireland Announced as Preferred Bidder for National Broadband Plan
May 09
09:58 2019

National Broadband Ireland, the Granahan McCourt led Consortium bidding for the Government of Ireland’s National Broadband Plan (NBP), has today been announced as the Preferred Bidder by Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Richard Bruton. Established in response to the NBP, National Broadband Ireland brings together a team with significant national and international expertise in designing, building and operating large-scale telecommunications networks.

David C. McCourt (pictured right) of National Broadband Ireland and founder and CEO of Granahan McCourt, the worldwide investors in technology, media and telecommunications, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed as the Preferred Bidder to deliver this life-changing infrastructure, that will be the platform to empower nearly 1.1 million people in Ireland, who have remained underserved in the provision of full modern telecommunication services. With this new network, rural premises in Ireland will finally have access to high speed broadband – which has become a 21st century necessity.

“To deliver a project of this size and complexity, it takes specific experience in building, managing and operating networks – this is what we do.  Our team has a proven track-record managing the successful rollouts of 24 National Telecom Networks in Ireland, Europe, the United States and Central America and has delivered hundreds of thousands of kilometres of fibre across 56 projects. Over the past 30 years, our people have led the funding, financing and management of over €40 billion in infrastructure assets and we’re proud to bring this experience and knowledge to this broadband plan.”

Building world-class infrastructure

National Broadband Ireland’s plan will provide access to nearly 540,000 premises, currently without access to high-speed broadband (known as the Intervention Area). Whilst most of these are in rural Ireland, it will also include urban areas where pockets of the population have been left without such access.

By building its wholesale, open-access network, National Broadband Ireland (NBI) will provide consumers and businesses with choice.  This means that people located within the NBP Intervention Area will be able to buy the same services, at the same prices, as those living in other parts of the country that are currently connected outside of the scheme.

It has also been confirmed that National Broadband Ireland’s network will use the latest Fibre-to-the-Home technology to guarantee minimum speeds of 150Mbps (Mega bits per second) increasing to a minimum 500 Mbps by year 11 – with customers able to choose packages of up to 1Gbps (Giga bits per second).

Subcontractors

National Broadband Ireland has nominated key subcontractors based on their extensive expertise and capabilities. enet, Ireland’s largest open-access network operator and the company which manages the State-owned Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs), will be a key subcontractor providing co-location facilities and access to the MANs which National Broadband Ireland will use to deploy from. Nokia, the multinational data networking and telecommunications equipment company – nominated as a key technology partner – brings state-of-the-art technology to future-proof the project.

Over 40 specialist contractors have also been nominated as part of NBI’s procurement process to fulfill key functions of the NBP rollout. These include the Kelly Group, Actavo and KN Group – who each bring immense national and international experience – to support with the construction phase and deliver the rollout. Granahan McCourt and NBI are also advised by Trasna Corporate Finance and Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking. See www.nationalbroadbandireland.ie for further information.

Peter Hendrick (pictured left), CEO of National Broadband Ireland, said: “For over three years, we have built a team which brings together some of the best and brightest minds in the telecoms industry. This highly experienced and highly motivated team has developed an infrastructure plan that ensures the rural digital divide is consigned to the past.”

Deployment Plan

Commenting on the deployment plans, Hendrick continued: “The NBP is a complex technical project that will take time and requires major investment – but once built it will future-proof Ireland for generations. Within the first year, we will have successfully delivered to community locations in the intervention area, and in year two, we will have successfully connected homes in all 26 counties.”

National Broadband Ireland’s deployment will include delivering high-speed broadband to almost 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) within the first year, at community locations identified and selected by Broadband Officers in local authorities. The facilities will include community halls, libraries, GAA facilities and other public spaces, paving the way for homes and premises to be connected thereafter.

Hendrick continued: “By the end of the second year 130,000 premises in the intervention area will be passed,  with a further 70,000 to 100,000 passed each year thereafter.  By the end of our deployment plan – we will have passed all of the approximately 540,000 premises in this area, meaning 100% of the country will have access to high speed broadband.”

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