2nd July 2014

Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, welcomes the announcement today (Wednesday) that Vodafone and the ESB have agreed a commercial venture worth €450 million to roll out fibre broadband to rural towns and villages. This new initiative will allow high speed broadband to be brought to 500,000 rural premises over the next four years through the electricity infrastructure.

“This venture, the first of its kind in Europe, will greatly benefit homes and businesses in rural Ireland who have been struggling with slow broadband. I am personally delighted that Naas, Johnstown, Sallins, Leixlip and Maynooth have been selected for this new initiative as despite their proximity to the capital city, many broadband ‘blackspots’ exist throughout this and the wider Kildare North area.

“This 100% fibre-to-the-building broadband network will use ESB’s underground and overground cables to bring broadband speeds of between 200 Mbps and 1000Mbps to homes and businesses. It will particularly benefit SME’s throughout rural Ireland who require high speed broadband for business success.

“Today’s announcement complements the Government’s National Broadband Strategy which commits to bringing fibre broadband services to rural Ireland. It is envisaged that the roll out of this scheme will commence in early 2015 with completion of phase one by end of 2018. While I warmly welcome this announcement it is vital that all other rural areas are likewise targeted and I will continue to press the importance of high speed broadband for everyone”.