by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Openreach Northern Ireland (NI), the region’s largest digital infrastructure provider, which currently employs more than 1,000 people in roles across the region, has named Garret Kavanagh as its new Director. Garret, who’s most recent role was Senior Manager of Infrastructure Delivery, has more than 10 years’ experience in Openreach NI and replaces Mairead Meyer who recently stepped down after five years in the role.


Meanwhile the company has announced 17 more rural towns and villages where it will be building Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband to over the next 18 months. The locations span the length and breadth of the region, from Belleek in Co. Fermanagh to Stewartstown in Co. Tyrone to Cushendun in Co. Antrim and Killinchy in Co. Down. As a result, these locations will be able to access download speeds of up to 1Gbps, that’s up to 10 times faster than the average home broadband connection. That means faster game downloads, better quality video calls and a higher resolution movie streaming.

This announcement comes alongside plans to add an additional £30 million to the £100 million investment Openreach recently announced for Northern Ireland between 2021 and 2022.

Speaking about the two announcements, Garret said: “We’re undergoing a once in a generation upgrade of our broadband network from copper to Full Fibre. We are delighted that we will be building Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband to 17 more rural towns and villages over the next 18 months and investing a total of £130 million in Northern Ireland between 2021 and 2022. 700,000 homes and businesses will be able to access Ultrafast Full Fibre technology by March 2022, that’s 75% of properties across Northern Ireland. We’re extremely proud to be building a strong and resilient network that will meet the needs of everyone, now and for decades to come. It’s a fantastic time to step into the role of Director of Openreach Northern Ireland.”

Garret paid tribute to Mairead for her years of “dedicated service and commitment”.

“I am delighted to be taking over from Mairead, who has been a colleague and friend for many years and look forward to working with the team to achieve our shared vision of driving the country’s digital future. I want to wish Mairead the very best in her next endeavor.”

In his new role as Director, Garret’s focus will be on continuing the build of Northern Irelands largest Ultrafast Full Fibre network – an even faster, more reliable and future-proof broadband network which will be Northern Ireland’s digital platform for decades to come.

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V12 MPU e/Nov21

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