5G broadband is now available to over 800,000 homes across rural Ireland which were originally told it would take years to get to their areas.

Imagine Communications has announced it has completed phase one of its rollout of 5G fixed broadband, following February’s commitment to invest €300 million into the project.

The completion of phase ones means that reliable high-speed 150 Mbps broadband is now available to over 800,000 homes and businesses in 31,000 rural townlands across Ireland.

This is positive news for people in regional and rural areas that were waiting for the upgrade of legacy copper to fibre and will now be among the first to benefit from high-speed broadband. Importantly, this includes 234,000 homes and business in areas where there was previously no planned commercial investment by other operators.

Imagine confirmed that the network is already live and available across the country with customers from the commuter belts of Kildare and Meath to the Aran Islands and from rural Kerry to Donegal, already connected. In addition to connecting new areas, Imagine is also upgrading existing customers and building additional sites in these areas to meet high demand for its service.

Commenting on the announcement, Imagine CEO Sean Bolger said: “We are pleased to have completed phase one of our rollout. When we announced our plans, we were conscious that people in regional Ireland wanted to see delivery. At Imagine we wanted our actions to speak for themselves. We said we would invest, build networks and deliver services to homes and businesses across Ireland and that is what we have done.

“Within six months we have made reliable high-speed broadband a reality for over 800,000 premises. This includes 234,000 homes and businesses which faced a wait of five to seven years to be connected and where Imagine is now the only provider in the area,” said Mr Bolger.

This investment from Imagine Communications will come as a major boost to those in rural Ireland who were told it would take several years to arrive in their respective areas.

“This is a critically important investment in infrastructure in rural Ireland which will quickly deliver an essential service which otherwise would have taken years to provide. As an alternative, and new, this infrastructure will provide effective competition in the wider highspeed broadband market which will stimulate further commercial investment and greater choice for consumers.

“While the conversation and focus to date has been about fixed broadband, what is equally important for rural communities and business is that this is an investment in 5G infrastructure which is essential for the development of a digital economy and which will enable and support further investment and deployment of 5G services,” added Mr Bolger.

With phase one of Imagine’s national broadband roll-out complete, consumers can now see where Imagine’s high-speed broadband service is available and areas due to be connected by the end of 2019. Maps showing coverage for each local area are available online and, using their Eircode, homes and businesses can easily check if they are now covered by visiting the company’s website www.imagine.ie

Written by Stephen Larkin

Published: 5 September, 2019

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