Eircom increases fiber targets

Republic of Ireland incumbent Eircom is pledging to double its fiber coverage by mid-2016, after beating its targets for deployments to date.
The telco is on track to provide fiber to 700,000 homes and businesses by end-2013, and has pledged to cover 1.4 million premises by mid-2016 – an increase of 200,000 on its original goal. If successful, the firm’s 100-Mbps fiber network will cover 70% of the population in the Republic by that date.
Ireland’s government is currently seeking ways to connect the remaining 30% of homes and businesses in the country, which are either outside Eircom’s planned deployment, or too far from exchanges to be reached.
Herb Hribar, chief executive of Eircom, says the increased coverage target is the maximum that “can be currently achieved on a commercial basis,” in the country.
Eircom revealed its fiber plans as it detailed a stabilization in its earnings in the three months to end-September – the firm’s fiscal 1Q14.
EBITDA fell a marginal 1% year-on-year to €119 million, as a cost reduction program started to bear fruit. The plan will see 1,100 staff leave the firm by the end of the fiscal year, bringing total reductions to around 2,000. Chief financial officer, Richard Moat, says the telco is on track to achieve its goal of cutting €100 million from its costs by end-September 2014.