100,000 rural homes and businesses to get broadband speeds of up to 1 Gb/s in next twelve months

(Thursday, 3rd March 2016): eir today announced further details of its deployment of high speed broadband in rural Ireland that will offer speeds of up to 1,000 Mb/s. In the next twelve months, 100,000 homes and businesses across 200 communities in all 26 counties will be able to access the fastest broadband speeds in Ireland. Preparation work is already underway in some areas with tree trimming now complete in a number of locations, clearing the way for spans of new fibre cables to be installed alongside the existing roadside telecommunications infrastructure. Today’s announcement is part of the commitment the company made in June 2015 to extend the footprint of high speed broadband to a further 300,000 homes and businesses to reach a total of 1.9 million premises by the end of 2020. 1.4 million homes and businesses can already access high speed broadband in Ireland and the company remains on target to reach 1.7 million premises by this time next year.

Commenting on the announcement, Carolan Lennon, Managing Director open eir said: "We are the only provider with a truly national plan to connect rural communities across Ireland to high speed broadband. We already provide the fastest broadband speeds in the country and we are now extending those speeds beyond the town. Last June, we committed to extend the reach of our commercial rollout as far as possible. Our announcement today is testament to our on-going support of the economic recovery and rejuvenation of rural Ireland using best in class technology."

Apprentice Programme - 50 jobs

Separately, eir announced that online applications are accepted from today as this year’s apprentice recruitment programme has been officially launched. Now in its second year, the programme is open to candidates who have passed their Leaving Certificate and who would enjoy the challenge of working for a market leading Irish company on the rollout of a high speed national fibre network. Selected candidates will start work from July and the training programme will run for two years.

Speaking at the recruitment launch at the Agri Careers Fair at the RDS, Orla Coughlan, Chief Human Resources Officer eir, said "Our recruitment call is a further signal of our sustained commitment to investing in our future, ensuring our people can deliver the high speed broadband and highest level of service to our customers. The apprentice roles provide a really exciting opportunity to work in a dynamic fast paced environment on a critical infrastructure programme. The jobs will be bases across Ireland and we have been very clear to date on our determination to support rural employment by hiring people from their local communities. Successful applicants will be trained and taught a range of skills to help build and maintain our fibre network throughout the country."

The structured two-year programme will provide on-the-job learning, one-to-one coaching and formal classroom training. Successful applicants will also receive a Level 6 FETAC Telecommunications Access Networks Technology Major Award. eir will be working with Solas on the ongoing expansion of this programme – which is scheduled to continue in 2017, and beyond.

 Further information about open eir’s apprenticeship programme is available on eir’s early talent careers page http://earlytalent.eir.ie/apprentices/why-eir/ as is the online application form. Applications for the 2016 eir Apprentice Programme are open from today, 3rd March 2016, and close on 31st March 2016.