SIRO, the open-access wholesale broadband provider delivering Ireland’s first 100% fibre-optic broadband network to 50 towns nationwide, celebrated “Gimme Fibre” day (the international milestone organised by the FTTH Council to celebrate FTTH technology) by breaking ground in Monksland, Co. Roscommon, which is one of the first 25 SIRO towns.
Gigabit broadband powered by SIRO is now available to over 110,000 homes and businesses in 25 towns across the country with over 12,000 customers now connected to the network via 6 retail partners.
Given the substantial rollout of Fibre-to-the-Home broadband in Ireland in the past two years, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten TD and SIRO have also both jointly requested the FTTH council to include Ireland in its next league Table (Market Panorama) which will be published in February.
SIRO is the only Irish operator member of the influential FTTH Council which is an industry organisation whose mission is to accelerate the availability of ultra-high-speed fibre access networks for the benefit of consumers and businesses. The council advocates how fibre communications positively impacts communities and competitiveness and facilitates European policy goals such as the Digital Agenda and the Digital Single Market.
Welcoming the progress of the rollout of FTTH broadband in Ireland, Minister Naughten said: “The CEO of the FTTH council, Ms Erzsebet Fitori, was the keynote speaker at the recent ComReg conference which clearly shows how the conversation in Ireland is changing from last mile copper and cable to fibre. I will be writing to the Council in support of SIRO’s submission. League tables matter and with the latest ComReg statistics showing total FTTH subscriptions at 20,000, we should now join the register.”
Sean Atkinson, SIRO CEO, added: “In the two years since we launched we have changed the conversation about broadband in Ireland with a clear recognition that FTTH is the future. SIRO is having an impact with initiatives like the Ludgate Hub illustrating how Gigabit connectivity can spark a digital transformation in towns like Skibbereen. SIRO is proud to be the only Irish operator member of the FTTH Council and with over 12,000 customers ourselves alone, we have requested that Ireland be included in the next FTTH league table due in February 2018.”
Using the existing ESB network, SIRO services are delivered through fibre-optic cables which run alongside existing electricity connections, all the way to the building. This technology has no copper connections at any point to slow down the network and delivers 1 Gigabit download and upload speeds. When downloading a high definition film of 4 gigabytes with a 10 Mbps connection, the average download time is an hour or more – with SIRO it takes less than 30 seconds.
The first phase of SIRO’s FTTH rollout is currently ongoing with services due to be made available to 500,000 homes and businesses in 50 regional towns. Services powered by SIRO are already live or under construction in 25 towns across the country – Dundalk, Carrigaline, Sligo, Letterkenny, Tralee, Cavan, Wexford, Skibbereen, Drogheda, Mullingar, Portlaoise, Ennis, Castlebar, Westport, Limerick, Newbridge, Carlow, Swords, Balbriggan, Bray, Greystones, Athlone, Killarney, Shannon and Mallow.
As an open access wholesale provider, SIRO is also driving competition in the broadband market with six retailers – Vodafone, Digiweb, Westnet, Rocket Broadband, Carnsore Broadband and Kerry Broadband – signed up thus far and discussions advanced with other providers.