During the planning of the Galway-Mayo Gas pipeline by Bord Gais Eireann (BGÉ) in 2005 the then Department of Communications Marine & Natural Resources decided to fund the installation of a telecommunications duct alongside the new gas pipeline.
The pipeline and ducting were installed between Ballymoneen in County Galway and the new gas terminal constructed in Bellanaboy County Mayo with a spur into Castlebar and Westport. Construction took place between 2006 and 2008.
The building of the gas pipeline provided a unique opportunity to build a new underground telecommunications backhaul infrastructure at marginal cost which in turn could provide broadband connectivity to parts of County Galway and County Mayo. Ownership of the telecommunications duct remains with the Department. A map of the route of the duct can be found in the consultation document.
Shell Exploration and Production Ireland Limited (SEPIL) funded the cost of the installation of the fibre optic cable in the duct for the benefit of the Minister.
We are currently in the process of procuring a Management Services Entity (MSE) to manage, operate and market the infrastructure. Pending the appointment of the MSE, the Minister has entered into an interim agreement with Gas Networks Ireland to provide limited dark fibre services to customers on completed sections of the fibre between Coolturk (Co. Mayo) and Ballymoneen (Co. Galway). Further queries regarding access to dark fibre may be addressed to Gas Networks Ireland at:
Claire Madden |Head of Legal & Regulatory Affairs
Gas Networks Ireland
P.O. Box 51, Gasworks Road, Cork, T12RX96, Ireland
Telephone +353 (21) 4534205