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Vodafone to Deploy Landline Network Over an Electricity Grid

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Vodafone has signed a deal with Ireland's dominant electricity generator to deploy a landline network based in part over the electricity grid infrastructure.

ESB and Vodafone have agreed to invest EUR450 million (USD615 million) in building the network, which will be a 50:50 joint venture.

Ireland will also become the first country in Europe to utilise existing electricity infrastructure on a nationwide basis to deploy fibre directly into homes and businesses, initially reaching 500,000 premises in 50 towns. The fibre will be deployed on ESB's existing overhead and underground infrastructure

ESB and Vodafone to Invest in 100% Fibre Broadband Network Across Ireland

Subject to European Commission approval, the 50:50 joint venture will begin rolling-out the new network across Ireland in the coming months, with the first customers able to avail of fibre broadband from the start of 2015. The initial phase of the project is expected to be fully rolled-out by the end of 2018, with scope for a second phase under the joint venture.

While the ESB and Vodafone joint venture will build and manage the network, open access will be offered to all telecoms operators in Ireland on a wholesale basis.

Vodafone already has 200,000 fixed broadband customers in Ireland.

Background to joint venture

ESB began a tender process in September 2012 to find a partner in a joint venture company to deploy a fibre-to-the-building network using ESB Networks overhead and underground infrastructure as part of its innovation strategy. Vodafone emerged as the preferred bidder for the project in September 2013, when both companies entered exclusive negotiations.

The agreement to form the new joint venture company was signed by the two organisations and 60 people will be employed by the company.

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Tags: vodafone  Ireland