Eir is to accelerate the rollout of high-speed internet statewide by an estimated 50,000 additional families and businesses per year after establishing a joint venture partnership for its wholesale fiber broadband network with InfraVia.
The investment provided by this joint venture will allow Eir to accelerate the pace of expansion of its fiber optic broadband network, and it is estimated that 200,000 homes will be crossed in 2022, rising to 250,000 homes in 2023.
Eir said the accelerated network rollout will allow about 50,000 more families and businesses to access high-speed internet per year than originally planned.
Fiber broadband usage in Ireland has grown rapidly in recent years and Eir now aims to exceed 1.9 million premises by the end of 2026, providing Ireland, in combination with the national top plan throughput, coverage of more than 90% of all premises at the end of the two projects.
The agreement will see the creation of a new subsidiary of Eir, called Fiber Networks Ireland, which will allow InfraVia to take a 49% share in Eir’s network.
Fiber Networks Ireland will provide passive broadband access exclusively to Eir’s wholesale arm, Open Eir, which in turn will continue to provide wholesale broadband, voice and other services to its customers, including Eir and others major telecommunications companies.
InfraVia is an independent private equity firm specializing in infrastructure and technology investments. It recently formed a joint venture with Liberty Global to deploy fibre-to-the-home networks in Germany.
The company has also provided investment to French wholesale and open-access telecommunications operator ADTiM and partnered with Iliad in France to create IFT, a vehicle that provides investment in fibre-to-the-home coverage in the medium and low density areas.
“This expertise will contribute significantly to the improved deployment of Eir’s broadband internet network in Ireland,” said Eir.
Through Fiber Networks Ireland, Eir, in conjunction with InfraVia, will continue to provide deployment, maintenance, delivery and other fiber services for the Eir network.
Eir’s chief financial officer, Stephen Tighe, said the creation of Fiber Networks Ireland “provides a vehicle for further investment in our already extensive network”.
“Through this exciting partnership with InfraVia, we can improve our ability to connect customers faster than ever before and ensure that more homes in Ireland can access the high-speed internet that has become an increasingly important part of the how we live our lives,” he said. .
Bruno Candès, Partner at InfraVia Capital Partners, said: “We are very pleased to partner with Eir and its shareholders to build a high quality national FTTH network that will provide next generation connectivity across Ireland.
“Fiber internet access is an essential service that enables inclusive digital transformation, and we are proud to support this transition in the Republic of Ireland.
“This investment builds on our existing track record in Ireland and our extensive experience of communications infrastructure across Europe. We look forward to working with Eir in this partnership for years to come. »