Broadband body looks at fast-tracking rural internet using ESB network

Existing electricity infrastructure could be used to roll out services quickly

A working group has been set up to assess the feasibility of using the ESB’s infrastructure and the cost-effectiveness of accessing the network

National Broadband Ireland is surveying part of the ESB’s existing electricity network and drawing up a detailed design plan to determine whether the state’s multi-billion-euro rural internet scheme can be fast-tracked.

The company, headed by David McCourt, the US businessman, was awarded the contract for the state’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) after a controversial procurement process last year.

ESB had been one of the initial bidders for the contract through Siro, its joint venture with ...