E-net secures broadband contract

Limerick-based technology company e-net has been awarded the contract to manage the broadband network by the Department of Communications.

Limerick-based technology company e-net has been awarded the contract to manage the broadband network by the Department of Communications.

This will involve setting up Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs), comprised of duct and fibre around 19 cities and towns.

The creation of the MAN network will make the Irish regions significantly more attractive for inward investment.

E-net founder Michael Tiernan said today: "There is evidence that many international companies are opting for the greater Dublin area rather than a provincial location because of the absence of top quality infrastructure.

"A state-of-the-art low-cost broadband infrastructure will undoubtedly make regional towns and cities much more attractive for inward investment, in addition to sustaining existing jobs in the region," Tiernan added.

E-net will operate as a wholesaler making broadband infrastructure available to authorised telecoms operators and opening up new possibilities for the deployment of extensive broadband services in the regions, under the terms of its contract with the Government.

The Government has so far invested €70m in the regional broadband infrastructure initially serving 19 regional centres while a further €79m is expected to be invested in expanding the network on a demand-driven basis.

The concession agreement with e-net provides for revenue sharing with the Government of the income generated over the period of the concession.

A €12m funding package has been put in place by venture capital company, ACT, Anglo Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland, e-net said today.

The financial advisers to e-net are PwC and Ion Equity.

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