Vodafone Group has stepped up its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) efforts, with announcements in both Ireland and Portugal.
In Ireland, Vodafone Group has launched ultrafast fibre broadband services as part of SIRO, Vodafone Ireland and the Electricity Supply Board’s (ESB) €450 million joint venture to roll out a pure FTTH network to small towns of more than 4,000 houses across Ireland by the end of 2018.
Carrigaline in Country Cork is the first of 51 Irish towns to connect to the SIRO network, enabling homes and businesses to experience broadband speeds of up to a gigabit.
Vodafone points out that Ireland is the first country in Europe to use electricity infrastructure to deploy end-to-end fibre directly to the premises on a nationwide basis.
Vodafone Group has also announced a €125 million expansion of its FTTH network in Portugal to a further 550,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2016.
The latest investment will increase the size of Vodafone Portugal’s network to 2.75 million properties, equivalent to more than two thirds of properties in the country.
Vodafone Portugal began construction of its fibre network in 2010, and has connected 2.2 million Portuguese homes and businesses to date, helping to establish Portugal as one of Europe’s leading FTTH nations (see Fibre industry 'needs to do more' – Karin Ahl).
These investments complement other Vodafone fibre investment programmes in its markets across Europe. Vodafone is also building a new gigabit FTTH network in Spain serving more than two million homes and businesses through a co-investment agreement with Orange; and is in discussions with Italian electricity company Enel which has announced plans to create a new infrastructure company to build a national FTTH network open to all operators across Italy.
Vodafone Group public policy director Markus Reinisch said: “The successful economies of the future will be gigabit societies with ultrafast fibre-optic connections available everywhere. Vodafone is playing its part in realising that objective: we have demonstrated that we invest in fibre-to-the-home when conditions allow us to do so, working together with other forward-looking companies to build the ultrafast digital infrastructure that Europe needs.”