Eir addresses State concerns over its rural broadband plans

The telecom's project to serve 300,000 households could make upcoming Government tenders less attractive

Eir addresses State concerns over its rural broadband plans

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Eir, formerly Eircom, has responded to Government concerns over 300,000 homes that could be removed from a €1.5bn State-subsidised rural broadband scheme.

The houses in question are part of the 300,000 homes that were covered by the State's 750,000 home scheme.

As Eir has targeted these customers with its own fiber offering and already started work to supply high-speed internet to 100,000 homes.

The Department of Communications said that its original plan for 750,000 houses remains in place until a provider submits "all of the relevant criteria and signed a commitment agreement."

Eir responded with a statement saying, "The department requested and last week received details of the first phase of 100,000 homes and businesses that is part of our rural 300,000 rollout. They are currently examining that submission."

Under EU state-aid laws a public broadband scheme cannot be rolled-out where a private provider is operating.

The Government has two contracts available for private firms - Eir, ESB, E-Net and Vodafone’s Siro are all likely to be interested in these tenders.