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Preparing for Ireland’s Copper Switch-Off: What ISPs Need to Know Now

As Ireland approaches the switch-off of its copper broadband network, ISP business leaders must prepare for a significant transition. The copper switch-off, while still some years away, requires careful planning and coordination to ensure minimal disruption to services and customers. In this article we provide a comprehensive overview of the process, critical timelines, potential challenges, and necessary preparations for ISPs. Euroroute stands ready to support ISPs in Ireland through the copper switch-off with our comprehensive suite of products and services. Our no-touch CPE deployment ensures that ISPs can take full advantage of the upgrade cycle by providing pre-configured, ready-to-use devices, streamlining the transition for end-users reducing installation complexities.

copper switch-off

Understanding the Copper Switch-Off

The move from copper-based networks to fibre-optic broadband is a vital step in modernising Ireland’s telecommunications infrastructure. The European Commission has set 2030 as the preferred deadline for the complete switch-off of copper networks across the EU. In Ireland, the communications regulator, ComReg, has already approved the conditions for the switch-off, with telecom company Eir expected to submit a formal proposal.

Critical Timelines and Phased Approach

The transition from copper to fibre will not happen overnight. Eir has committed to providing at least 12-18 months’ notice before any changes occur, ensuring customers and businesses have ample time to adapt. This phased approach will be developed in collaboration with ComReg and industry stakeholders to manage the process smoothly.

Key Challenges for ISPs

Service Continuity for Vulnerable Customers:
One of the most significant concerns is the potential impact on older or vulnerable customers who rely on the copper network for essential services like health alarms and emergency phones. Ensuring these services remain uninterrupted during the transition is crucial.

Infrastructure Readiness:
The switch-off is contingent on the full availability of Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) across Ireland, including rural areas. ISPs must work to ensure their infrastructure is ready to support a complete transition to fibre.

Customer Communication:
Clear, transparent communication with customers is vital. ISPs need to inform customers about the upcoming changes, what to expect, and how to prepare. This includes providing detailed timelines and ensuring customers understand the benefits of switching to fibre.

Preparing for the Transition

Proactive Planning and Coordination:
ISPs should start planning for the switch-off now. This includes setting up internal task forces to oversee the transition, conducting thorough impact assessments, and developing detailed transition plans. Coordination with stakeholders, including regulatory bodies, industry partners, and service providers, is essential.

Customer Support and Education:
ISPs should prioritise customer support and education. This involves training customer service teams to handle queries related to the switch-off, providing clear and accessible information through various channels, and offering support to vulnerable customers to ensure they are not adversely affected. This includes regular updates, detailed timelines, and information on how customers can prepare for the switch-off.

Stakeholder Engagement:
Effective stakeholder engagement is crucial for a successful transition. ISPs should collaborate with industry stakeholders, regulatory bodies, and community organisations to address concerns, share best practices, and ensure a coordinated approach to the switch-off.

Embracing the Future of Broadband

The transition from copper to fibre is an opportunity for ISPs to enhance their service offerings and future-proof their networks. Fibre-optic broadband offers faster speeds, improved reliability, and better overall performance compared to copper-based networks. By embracing this transition, ISPs can position themselves at the forefront of technological innovation and deliver superior services to their customers.

Partner for Success

Euroroute partners with AVM FRITZ!Box, offering top-tier routers and networking solutions that guarantee quality and innovation. Additionally, our cloud-based Auto Configuration Server (ACS) solutions, in collaboration with AVSystem, provide ISPs with robust remote management capabilities, enabling seamless mass device management during the switch-off. By leveraging Euroroute’s expertise in Wi-Fi 6 and WiFi 7 technology, advanced security features, and scalable solutions, ISPs can enhance network performance, ensure customer satisfaction, and navigate the switch-off process efficiently. Our commitment to future-proofing and comprehensive customer support makes Euroroute the ideal partner for ISPs preparing for Ireland’s digital transition.

Contact Euroroute

The copper switch-off in Ireland is a significant milestone in the evolution of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure. For ISPs, careful planning, proactive preparation, and effective stakeholder engagement are key to ensuring a smooth transition. By addressing potential challenges and focusing on customer communication and support, ISPs can navigate the switch-off successfully and leverage the benefits of modern fibre-optic broadband. Now is the time to start preparing and lead the way towards a future-ready broadband network in Ireland.

The copper switch-off in Ireland is a significant milestone in the evolution of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure.

For ISPs, careful planning, proactive preparation, and effective stakeholder engagement are key to ensuring a smooth transition.