·        Metro redefines entry-level broadband in Ireland as 3 Mbps

·        High speed broadband and full digital telephony with standard phone numbers and free calls

·        Live network simultaneously launched for Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Dundalk today

·        Wholesale network access offered immediately to other established operators

Digiweb today announced that it is revolutionising the Telecommunications and Broadband landscape in Ireland with the launch of its new Metro network – the first and only alternative last-mile access network to compete with the copper local loop for voice and data services.

Metro technology effectively addresses what has been missing in Ireland to date – genuine telecommunications platform competition. Digiweb has been engaged in research and development of Metro for over a year, combining leading technologies and protocols from the Wireless and Cable Modem industries. Metro is Ireland’s most extensive DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem system delivered on one of the most advanced licensed wireless platforms available today.

Commenting on the Launch, Mr Noel Dempsey TD, Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources stated:

“The new service represents a major leap forward in the provision of wireless broadband to the Irish market.   It bypasses the difficulties of Local Loop Unbundling and is completely independent of the traditional telephone networks. I congratulate Digiweb for their energy and enthusiasm in bringing the next generation of wireless broadband services to the market.”

In parallel to launching its range of Retail services today, and in stark contrast to the recent highly publicised difficulties in Local Loop Unbundling in Ireland, Digiweb are inviting the other established carriers and operators to avail of wholesale access to the Metro network from day one.

“In essence, Metro will enable selected partner companies to architect, specify and deliver their own services to their own end customers across our network. Those operators may package any of a wide host of services they wish to offer – the Metro network does not impose any fixed specifications, formats, or business model.  With its extremely keen cost base compared to other options, we expect Metro will rapidly stimulate many new services and greatly increased consumer choice in the Irish telecoms market” stated Colm Piercy, Managing Director, Digiweb.

Entry-level retail packages on the new network offer 3Mbps Broadband with a full telephony service, FREE line Rental, FREE voice calls to other Digiweb Customers, and in excess of 50% savings on calls to most other locations, for just €35 per month ex VAT; with the option of a second phone line and phone number for only an extra €5 per month.

Enhanced packages include a 4Mbps service with 1Mbps upload with low contention for only €90 ex VAT and a 6Mbps download, 2Mbps upload service for only €249 ex VAT per month.

Based on standard telephony protocols, the phone service allows any normal phone to be used, and customers may opt to either have a new geographic number assigned, or to transfer their existing phone number from their current provider. Uniquely however, the customer does not need to have a traditional phone line installed, and for new homeowners the long wait traditionally associated with a phone service is eliminated.

“Its a unique occurrence in the Irish market to launch a network of this scale and nature simultaneously in 6 large cities. Metro is designed to be exceptionally flexible and scalable, and immediately will also be used to deliver a number of enhanced business services such as Leased-Line replacement technology, MPLS links, E1 and fractional E1 provision. We are now in the planning stages for our Phase 2 build, which will be available in Q2/Q3 2006, with a view to providing 70% population coverage by mid-year”, stated Piercy at the launch event today.

Digiweb will also be launching a full Digital TV service and home security range using the same platform during 2006.