The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has identified high speed broadband connectivity as a critical element in the development of a competitive Smart Economy and inclusive Knowledge Society. The Department’s policy in this area is set out in the paper “Next Generation Broadband – Gateway to a Knowledge Ireland”, 2009.
One of the actions in the 2009 policy paper is the requirement for new residential buildings to have open access fibre connections installed, where practicable. The paper states that it makes economic sense to wire a building for high speed technologies at new build stage rather than having to retro-fit, at greater expense, at a later date.
A Working Group was established, with representatives from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), to oversee the implementation of this action.
Consequently recommendations relating to the following are being developed:
· Open Access Fibre Ducting and
· Internal Structured Cabling for New Residential Buildings.
A consultation (which closed on 16th May 2010) was held on these recommmendations .
Although it is unlikely that multiple FTTH networks will be rolled out in Ireland, due to the high cost of civil works and the low population density, the Working Group explored the challenges involved in providing open access fibre to the home (FTTH), which would be required to enable users to change service providers. Possible rules for maintenance and repair of installed open access networks were also considered. Given the low probability of multiple FTTH network rollout and the operational complexity to which co-location of facilities at local level would give rise, it is expected that the consultation paper will focus on the manageable, controllable, aspects of the 2009 policy paper action. It is for this reason that these recommendations will only address Open Access Fibre Ducting and Internal Structured Cabling for New Residential Buildings extending from the curtilage of new residential buildings, that is the area of land attached to a house and forming one enclosure with it, to the interior of the building.