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Leap leaps into fixed-line broadband

Irish unbundle for the business punter

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Leap Broadband has signed a deal with Eircom which will allow the firm to offer a fixed-line broadband service using Eircom's network.

The deal is the first of 50 such agreements that Leap Broadband will sign with Eircom over the next few years. The agreements will provide Leap with access to Eircom's local loops and will enable it to offer Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL) - a next generation upgrade from Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) - to business broadband users.

"Unlike ADSL resellers we will now be able to provide products outside of the existing limitations - we will determine the speed, contention rates and prices as the market requires," said Rory Ardagh, director of Leap Broadband in a statement. "Initially we will deploy technology called SDSL, it is the next generation of broadband after ADSL was launched two years ago," he continued.

SDSL supports the same data rates for downloading and uploading data whereas ADSL downloading speeds are quicker than upload speeds.

Exchanges in Dublin will be the first to be unbundled; the service will be live in around a month's time according to Charlie Ardagh, director of Leap Broadband. The company will then start to unbundle the various local loops around the country targeting areas with high density populations like Cork, Galway and Limerick first. Ardagh estimates that Leap fixed-line broadband will be available in the major cities within the next 18 to 24 months.

Leap has its eyes on the high-end business broadband users who typically pay out €2,000 per month for dedicated bandwidth services. Leap aims to offer a similar service through SDSL at a much discounted price of under €1,000 per month, Ardagh told ElectricNews.Net. With this package Leap aims to target Eircom, Esat BT and other broadband providers' customers in addition to recruiting new customers.

The company plans to invest €10m over the next three years in this fixed-line broadband service and hopes to achieve between 3 per cent and 4 per cent market penetration in its designated markets.

"The market can expect several related important announcements regarding our partnerships, investors, suppliers and services over the summer and into September, said Ardagh in a statement, "right now we are happy to have signed the first of these milestone agreements that we truly believe will shake up the broadband market for the business community."

© ENN

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