It is already being discussed over on the Eircom Fibre thread, but I think this is huge news, the biggest news in the Irish Broadband market since UPC came to Ireland and thus deserves it's own thread.
It looks like the ESB are looking to create a new ISP in a joint venture where they will run their own fibre optic cable to the home using the ESB's overhead electrical poles and ducts:
This is massive news as it brings another very large and wealthy player to the market, but most importantly brings a third completely independent network to the market and it looks like they will be using the best and fastest technology available and have an advantage of using the ESB's existing infrastructure.
If done right, this could really shake up the Irish broadband market.
From the tender docs they say they plan on targeting urban and semi-urban areas outside Dublin. This sounds like they want to target non-rural areas not already serviced by UPC.
This makes a lot of sense, while Eircom might be targeting the same areas with their new VDSL2+ products, ESB's fibre to the building products would be able to offer speeds and prices that would easily blow Eircom away. However it would be much harder for them to compete with UPC, due to UPC's already high speeds.
Interestingly the ESB won't actually be selling broadband directly to customers, instead they will act as wholesalers and other ISP's can then buy capacity on the network to sell to customers.
I can certainly see BT (and thus Vodafone and Sky who use BT's network) signing up for this.
Interestingly UPC could also sign up to use it, to offer broadband and IPTV in areas they currently don't service.
Eircom would be the big losers with this news. However eventually they could also use this network, if they still exist!!
Very interesting times ahead