INFRASTRUCTURE IN NI
Today (DATE) sees the launch of Fibrus, a new telecommunications network operator formed as part of a joint venture between rapidly growing Belfast based telecoms and technology group b4b and Conal Henry, a Belfast born entrepreneur who recently led telecoms company enet to pole position in Ireland’s National Broadband Plan and to it being acquired by the Ireland Infrastructure Fund in a €200m deal.
The new venture, which will incorporate b4b’s existing network, is already developing fibre network services to 4,500 businesses and seeks to solve the lack of fibre and the lack of competition that is strangling Northern Ireland’s telecom market. Fibrus will develop and operate fibre networks on a purely wholesale open access basis creating choice for service providers and competition for NI consumers.
Fibrus expects to invest over £100m in the next five years on a range of exciting and transformational projects, including;
- Fibrus to the Business Park – already underway this initiative will see Fibrus directly connect 4,500 business in 40 business parks and high streets around the province to full fibre networks
- Metro Fibrus – Working with local authorities around the province to Fibrus will aim to develop full open access MANs (Metro Area Networks) that have proven transformational in attracting economic development to towns and cities.
- Fibrus to the Home – targeting those homes with poor copper services, Fibrus aims to work with local, regional and national government to find ways to get every home in the province connected to full open access fibre.
Commenting on the new initiative Dominic Kearns CEO of b4b group said, “as a telecoms provider in Northern Ireland we see first-hand the importance of world class communications infrastructure. We are also very frustrated by lack of full fibre investment by BT in the province’s infrastructure so we decided to do something about it. I am delighted to join forces with Conal to launch Fibrus and with experience in building and operating fibre networks we believe we can shake up Northern Ireland’s communications landscape.”
Conal Henry said “high quality communications infrastructure is the cornerstone of economic development in the 21stcentury and it is too important to be left to former monopolists invested in copper. My experience is in disrupting those monopolies by developing high quality open access fibre networks in every town and village like I oversaw in the south of Ireland. We are already in discussions with service providers, public sector entities, infrastructure owners and investors and we are excited about the opportunity.”
About b4b group
b4b group is one of the fastest growing telecoms and technology companies in Northern Ireland. Founded in 2014, the company employs 36 staff from its head office in Belfast and is regarded as a modern service provider with current era services and technology. The group has continued to evolve in the last couple of years from being a business telecoms provider to currently investing in network infrastructure and developing new smart technologies for the business market.
About Conal Henry
Having held senior positions in organisations such as Procter and Gamble, Asda and Ryanair Conal Henry took enet from start up to make it Europe’s most profitable open access network operator. enet, with Henry as CEO, beat off competition from Eir, ESB and Vodafone joint venture Siro to become the sole bidder for the Republic’s €1.5bn National Broadband contract. He left enet having completed its acquisition by the Irish Infrastructure fund in a €200m deal.