Imagine Communications has announced its plans to bring high-speed broadband to 1 million homes and businesses across Ireland within the next 18 months.
The company launched its plans today to roll out high-speed 150Mbps broadband to rural and regional communities as part of its €300m investment in a 5G Fixed Broadband Network
Last year, it was announced that the firm would partner with global asset management group Brookfield.
The plan will see 325 sites built to cover 1.1 million premises within 18 months, with additional sites to be added to meet demand as it arises.
This will include delivering service to over 400,000 of the 540,000 premises where there was no planned investment by other commercial operators, the company says.
A pilot network has already been deployed in 55 areas around the country. The company announced that it had already started to build out the network and connecting customers and that the service will be live and available in 155 areas across all 26 counties by June of this year.
Commenting on the rollout, Sean Bolger, the CEO of Imagine, said: “Despite announcements of investments of over €1.2bn over the last five years and the promise of the rollout of Fibre to the Home, by the end of the 3rd quarter of last year, only 75,000 customers have been actually connected.
This is not a problem that is unique to Ireland, the reality is that rolling out fibre to every home, is a lot more expensive and takes a lot more time than people expected and will take years to deliver even in urban areas, let alone rural areas.
The company confirmed people will be able to register their interest in the service online and will be updated on progress of the rollout. It will publish quarterly updates detailing all areas connected, also outlining the next areas under its rolling connection programme.
“Our priority as we rollout the network is to extend our coverage to as many people as possible and with an initial service offering of up to 150Mbps” added Mr Bolger.