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eircom reveals fibre network plans face early completion

Full year and fourth quarter results show telecoms provider ahead of schedule, with fibre broadband rollout to expand and accelerate

eircom’s fibre broadband programme – which already reaches out to more than 900,000 Irish homes – will be accessible by 1.4m households by December 2015.

The fibre network is ahead of schedule and the planned footprint has even been extended to reach 1.6m premises by December 2016.

The revelations come after eircom published its full year and fourth quarter financial results for the period up to 30 June 2014.

Herb Hribar, CEO of the eircom group, revealed that the rollout of Ireland’s largest fibre network “remains on schedule and on budget” with plans in place to “accelerate” development.

Broadband connections

The number of broadband connections reached 718,000 by the end of June, up 7.5% for the year, with 133,000 fibre subscribers and 21,000 eVision subscribers.

The results revealed that 14% of customers now access triple or quad play bundles, while there are now 70,000 post-pay mobile subscribers.

Of particular interest to the firm will be the number of eircom customers that have signed up to 4G broadband services following their launch in September 2013 – more than 65,000 so far.

Mr Hribar said the investment levels of the company are representative of the work being put into marketing its new products and services.

“The past twelve months underline real and sustained progress in the transformation of eircom both in our financial performance and our product offerings to our customers,” he explained.

He added that the firm has now experienced eight consecutive quarters of EBITDA – a marker of strong financial performance – while cost savings targets were also achieved.

“I am also delighted to announce that our ambition for the delivery of high speed broadband services across Ireland will take us further with an additional investment commitment over the coming two years,” he said.

Commercial momentum

Part of this rollout will see the deployment of fibre to the home technology, providing high speed broadband to people across Ireland.

Operating costs for the firm improved 10% on the previous year while the total retail customer base, including fixed and mobile customers, was 1,899,000 at the end of June.

When wholesale eircom customers were included too, the total customer base is 2,369,000 with retail broadband services showing a 1% increase year-on-year.

eircom’s chief financial officer Richard Moat said the results suggested “early signs of commercial momentum,” something required to “reduce the declines in revenue, a trend seen across the European telecommunications market”.

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