Eircom has today launched a new fibre broadband network.

The move has been welcomed by broadband lobby group Ireland Offline as "probably the best thing that has happened in Ireland in many years", as good broadband provision is an enabler of economic growth.

Eircom said the fibre service will provide speeds that are six to 10 times faster than current broadband speeds.

eFibre offers download speeds of up to 70Mb as well as Ireland's fastest upload speeds of up to 20Mb. The download allowance is unlimited for all products above entry level.

Qualifying Eircom broadband customers will be able to upgrade for free to eFibre and the deals will include a free modem, free installation and no connection charge.

Eircom's Kevin White said: "eFibre fundamentally changes the online experience for users. It offers customers superfast fibre broadband at competitive prices."

Ireland Offline congratulated the current Eircom management on the new service.

"The scale of their rollout, for example, on the northern fringes of Dublin/Fingal and in parts of Wicklow/Louth is very impressive and for the first time they will deliver more than adequate broadband services to many areas. We hope that other neighbouring exchanges follow quickly over the next few months,'' the group said.

Eircom said that consumer products start at €40 and €24.79 for businesses. It said more than 300,000 consumers and businesses in Ireland can order eFibre from today.