BT Ireland is looking to trial fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services in Dun Laoghaire and a number of suburban locations across the Republic, ahead of a planned launch of 80Mbps VDSL broadband across the country. SiliconRepublic reports that the tests will begin next month and if successful, could result in BT Ireland looking to secure funding from its parent to fulfil a wide-scale rollout. It is understood that the requisite planning application has been submitted to incumbent PTO Eircom and the national regulator ComReg to provide the FTTC trial to business and residential users in the targeted location.
The announcement marks a significant change in attitude for BT which exited the consumer broadband market in 2009 via a EUR4.8 million (USD6.3 million) deal with Vodafone that allowed the latter to become a player in the domestic local loop unbundling (LLU) broadband segment. Since then, Ireland’s progess where it concerns LLU has improved dramatically and with Vodafone Ireland reporting a total of 241,000 fixed line and broadband users, it appears BT Ireland is looking to get back into the game.