Council briefed on progress of Virgin Media town works
Work on Virgin Media's fibre broadband expansion into Wexford town is expected to be completed by November of this year.
Members of Wexford Borough District Council were briefed by Virgin Media's Don Davoren at their recent meeting. He explained that, so far, 40,000 metres had been constructed and the network was 50% complete.
He added that they were rolling out in various areas and Wexford was seeing the largest investment made in one county. Mr Davoren explained the process with rolling out to each area, saying that communication with the local community was key to their work.
He said that they had had 156 instances of direct contact which, he felt, was not bad for 40,000 metres of fibre laying.
'There are a few outstanding issues but not too many. When we are in the wrong, we work quickly to make it right.'
Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Jim Moore wondered what the overall investment was and what the best and worst case timelines were for completion.
Mr Davoren said the investment figure was commercially sensitive but it was a multi-million euro project. In relation to completion, he said the earliest expected date was September while the latest would be December.
Cllr George Lawlor acknowledged that Virgin Media was making a massive investment in the town. He remarked that, in the beginning, workers had been very good at finishing work, tidying up and moving on but he said that, in recent times, there had been some complacency and there had been complaints on social media.
He said: 'This is a vital investment for our town and we want a positive view of it. It's in everyone's interests that the workers are more sensitive to the public.'
Mr Davoren said they had stressed the importance of reaching certain standards.
Cllr Davy Hynes said he was one of Virgin Media's new customers and was wondering about fluctuation speeds.
Mr Davoren replied: 'Unless there are 200 people using Netflix in your house, fluctuation shouldn't be happening!'
Cllr Tony Dempsey wondered if there would be a rollout in rural areas.
Mr Davoren said that would fall under the remit of the National Broadband Plan.
Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Jim Moore said they, as a council, had dealt with a large number of utility providers over the past year or two. He pointed out that they also had to deal with constituents and they were the ones who had to justify disruptions to the public.
Mr Davoren said that they had engaged with District Engineer Sean Kavanagh and his team, saying they were 'tough but fair' and that they appreciated the openness of the local authority.