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
When could we anticipate movement on this. 2/3 years?
Well if they do go ahead, I would expect quick movement on this over the next few months.
Now is their opportunity to do this, when Eircom are so weak and UPC haven't thought about expanding outside their core network yet.
Also it isn't actually particularly hard to do, the ESB already have a good fibre network and good experience of this.
Interesting and exciting. The problem in my area with UPC is cables hanging everywhere and neighbours stopping cables hanging from their homes- therefore there are black spots.
UPC/eircom will either feel pressured to compete, or they will piggyback on Electric Ireland's network.
Either of them, but more likely UPC, could actually bid to be the joint venture partner as it would give them reach to non-cabled areas and much better duct access even in cabled areas where some housing estates / streets had patchy coverage due to lack of access for runs of coax.
I imagine the ESB aren't the only national electricity company that has ducting going to a large number of premises. Has any other country rolled out wide scale FTTH this way?
You are entirely mistaken if you think they will duct most of this network. It will be strung overhead in the main.
So they're not going to compete with UPC in Dublin? Definitely another blow to eircom right now..
But it's very interesting and yeah it's massive and deserves it's own thread
A most welcome development. The possibilities are endless. And ESB are in a very strong financial position too, so this proposal is well within their compass. Will be very interesting to see who the future partner(s) will be. For the ordinary punter, urban or rural, it brings the possibility of having bb via fibre within reach is a possibly short timeframe.
I am cautiously optimistic about this news. It could be wonderful for the country if the ESB are really serious about a rollout. They are the ideal company for such a task.
Have any other power company around done this before?
Who will get into bed with the ESB? Who would we want?
I live in rural north Dublin, and can get UPC TV service but not their broadband, but the town 3km up the road has it, does this mean technically if they got into bed with UPC, UPC just use ESB cables and are able to provide their full service?
Potentially Eircom could be your best bet for fast broadband as they will probably rollout to most areas in north Dublin eventually. UPC may also upgrade the area where you are so you can get their full services.
This ESB startup may never happen or we could be years away from actual products being rolled out.
Eircom and repackaged Eircom (I.e Voda DSL) is all I get anyway, and Vodafone say they could not guarantee any improvement over my 4mb...
Even if this brought me up to 10mb I would be pretty happy, preferably without Eircom in the picture as its just so expensive with line rental etc ...