It was announced today that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has completed an initial investment of €12m to support expansion of next generation fibre optic telecom infrastructure across Ireland by open-access network operator, enet.
The €12m loan agreement, agreed with enet in December 2014, is the EIB’s first project in Ireland under a new programme, Innovfin, aimed at streamlining lending for innovation.
The investment is supporting enet’s development of next generation telecoms infrastructure over the coming years. enet’s current investment programme includes the delivery of ‘Fibre to the Business’ (FTTB) networks in a number of Irish towns and cities, including Claremorris, Loughrea, Ardee and Kilkenny.
enet CEO, Conal Henry commented, "The European Investment Bank is an excellent strategic partner for us and their investment is a validation of enet’s ability to operate networks on a commercial basis while also delivering a defined policy benefit for the State.
"Naturally, we are delighted to be the first company in Ireland to benefit from the Innovfin programme but I’d expect other innovators to follow."
European Investment Bank Vice President, Jonathan Taylor added, "Fast and reliable internet access is essential for modern business needs, communications and entertainment.
"The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting long-term investment in communications infrastructure across Europe and that’s why we’re supporting enet’s expansion of their open access networks to more cities and towns across Ireland. This marks the first use of new, dedicated finance for innovation in Ireland under the Innovfin programme and we look forward to similar strong proposals in the future."