The ESB (Electronic Communications Networks) Bill 2013 has been approved to tackle the broadband infrastructure deficity
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The ESB (Electronic Communications Networks) Bill 2013 received Oireachtas agreement on 29 April. The Bill, which received cross-party support in both Houses, makes it possible to run electronic communications lines along the ESB’s extensive electricity network.

Commenting on the completion of all stages of the Bill in the Oireachtas, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte said the Bill was a “further step… in tackling the broadband infrastructure deficit”.

“This is very much in the spirit of the Government’s National Broadband Plan, which specifically promotes the use of State assets to accelerate the roll out of high speed broadband infrastructure and services,” he said.

The National Broadband Plan, published in August 2012, set out policy initiatives to deliver high speed broadband across the country, through a combination of commercial investment where that is viable and a State led investment to serve areas where there is no such commercial case. The new legislation will enable the ESB to provide a fibre-based option where it is commercially viable. This aims to increase the reach of fibre-based connections closer to retail customers.

The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is currently engaged in a mapping exercise to identify areas that will need to be targeted by a State-led intervention to complete public access to high-speed broadband services.

“Government is firmly committed to delivering high speed broadband across the country through a combination of commercial and State-led investment,” said Rabbitte. “We’re seeing very encouraging investment from the private sector. The potential to use ESB’s considerable network to deploy fibre will contribute to the commercial deployment of broadband.”

The ESB has been considering proposals to use its electricity distribution network to provide fibre-based telecommunications services on a wholesale basis and has sought a joint venture partner in the context of developing this business proposition.

“This development comes at a critical time in the telecommunications market where commercial operators are investing heavily in the deployment of high speed fixed and wireless broadband,” the Minister concluded.

http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Connect-1024x536.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Connect-300x300.jpgDavid O'RiordanNewsbroadband,ESB,infrastructure,telecoms
  The ESB (Electronic Communications Networks) Bill 2013 received Oireachtas agreement on 29 April. The Bill, which received cross-party support in both Houses, makes it possible to run electronic communications lines along the ESB's extensive electricity network. Commenting on the completion of all stages of the Bill in the Oireachtas, Minister...