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Back to Blog 15 December 2023

Utilising our optical fibre network to enable a secure digital landscape

Strengthening the resilience of Ireland’s critical infrastructure by leveraging quantum technologies

IrelandQCI, the ‘Building a National Quantum Communication Infrastructure for Ireland’ project involves the integration of innovative and secure quantum devices and systems with conventional communication infrastructures. This will be done by utilising ESB Telecoms’ optical fibre network to provide an additional layer of security, all based on quantum physics.  

The Ireland QCI team, led by Waterford's Walton Institute in South East Technological University, will deploy Quantum Communications infrastructure (QCI) along a major network backbone from Dublin to Cork via Waterford.

This infrastructure will enable Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), which will provide next-generation security on data being communicated on a parallel classical fibre network. QKD is the secure exchange of encryption keys between parties using the properties of quantum physics to create and transmit the security keys. 

The advancement in technologies that the realisation of the IrelandQCI initiative will achieve, include: 

  • reinforcement of scientific and technological capabilities in cybersecurity, 

  • improvement of industrial competitiveness, 

  • strengthening of European digital sovereignty 

European Projects

IrelandQCI is one of several projects across the EU which sees the European Commission working with 27 Member States, as well as the European Space Agency, towards the deployment of a secure quantum communication infrastructure spanning the EU.  

Jointly funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) and the EU, the €10 million IrelandQCI project will trial 16 quantum security technology scenarios with key stakeholders across Ireland’s public, industry and academic sectors over the next two years as part of the Irish tranche of the EU-wide EuroQCI programme. 

How it works

To explain more, we asked two of the project experts to detail how the consortium is working to use the transformative power of quantum networks to ensure a secure digital landscape for Ireland.  

Deirdre Kilbane, Head of Research at The Walton Institute, delves into the world of quantum networks and the IrelandQCI project and discusses how this revolutionary programme will be transformational for sectors such as finance, healthcare, government, and energy.


John Regan, Managing Director, explains how ESB Telecoms is a crucial player in the IrelandQCI consortium. He discusses ESB Telecom's role in providing a fibre infrastructure backbone and details how we are helping to shape the quantum future in Ireland.  


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This is ……… The Future. Connected.