David Renehan, Eircom

In the lead up to Fixed Access Networks summit 2015, we’ve spoken with David Renehan, Senior Network Architect at Eircom, who will be joining the Super Panel for Superfast Broadband: Combining FTTdp and DSL Acceleration Technology to Deliver Highest Bandwidth.

1. David, please tell us a little bit about Eircom’s current projects in the area of fixed access networks.

 DR: “Eircom was relatively late to market delivering FTTC & FTTH products but over the past 3 years eircom has rolled out FTTC to over 4000 cabinets passing 1million homes (~2million homes in Ireland). Eircom enabled vectoring across most of its cabinets in April 2014 and will upgrade the remaining cabinets to node level vectoring by the end of 2014. Over the next two years Eircom is planning to rollout FTTC in another 2000 cabinets and rollout exchange launched VDSL resulting in 1.6 million homes passed. FTTH is currently only available out of two exchanges on a trial basis but FTTH will become the default technology for all green field housing and none VDSL coverage areas in the future. Eircom is currently running a G.Fast lab and field trials but is yet to determine if this technology aligns with Eircom’s long term strategy?”

2. What are operators most struggling with while deploying new technologies for fixed access?


DR: “Due to late deployment of FTTC/FTTH, eircom has had a chance to evaluate other FTTC/FTTH deployments and learn from their mistakes. To date in Ireland the biggest obstacle to FTTC/FTTH deployments are deliverables outside of eircom’s control e.g. power, local authorities and management companies in apartment blocks etc.”

3.) What are your experiences with FTTH in rural areas so far?

 DR: “The Irish government is currently in the process of developing a National Broadband Plan (NBP) for nearly 500K homes in rural areas (Ireland is unique in that over 20% of houses are once off builds along rural roads – this is called ribbon development). This will be a joint venture between the government and a private operator (to be decided) to deliver rural fibre solution. Eircom is currently running an FTTH trial from a rural exchange using overhead fibre on its pole network. Eircom has changed its old work practices for installing copper OH cable to new lighter fibre cable and has had very positive feedback so far from the rural FTTH trial.”

4.) What are you most looking forward to at the conference in April 2015?

 DR: “I look forward to hearing from other fixed line operators if their opinion on copper longevity has change since the last summit. Vendors are developing G.Fast & VDSL3 products to leverage the last 50-200m of copper encouraging FTTdp over FTTH but with DOCSIS 3.1 on the roadmap of mot cable operators and in Ireland where a new operator (Vodafone/ESB) are entering the market using the national electricity network to deliver FTTH is it time to deliver fibre as the default technology and copper as the last resort?”

To download the programme for the event, click here >> http://fixedaccesssummit.com/download-brochure/

To register or apply for a free operator pass, click here >> http://fixedaccesssummit.com/pre-register/

We look forward to seeing you in Berlin in April 2015!

Official Research Partner

Endorsing Association