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Stranorlar’s DigiHub Powered By SIRO

digihub launch at plaque Last Friday, September 17th, we announced the expansion of our Gigabit Hub Initiative to Stranorlar, Co Donegal with the connection of The DigiHub at The BASE Enterprise Centre, a new 1600 sq ft Digital Hub dedicated to supporting the growth of ICT and Digital businesses in Donegal.  The Hub is situated in The BASE Enterprise Centre, a 19000 sq ft Enterprise space built in 2015 to help attract investment and enable more to live and do business in the area.

By delivering Gigabit connectivity to the BASE Enterprise Centre, we have made remote working a reality for over 70 professionals, ensuring it’s as easy to do business in the Finn Valley as anywhere else in country.

John Keaney, CEO, SIRO

The DigiHub at The BASE was developed as part of the Digiwest programme with funding by the RRDF in partnership with Donegal County Council and the Western Development Commission. The DigiHub, which is located at Railway Road, Stranorlar, has a range of options available for remote workers, start-ups and established businesses with hot desk and start-up space on flexible arrangements, office units of various sizes, training facilities, and a range of meeting rooms. With Covid-19 fundamentally changing where people will live and work across Ireland, the BASE is aimed at enticing entrepreneurs and existing businesses to relocate to Stranorlar or offer 100% fibre-optic connectivity for remote workers based in the surrounding area.  The BASE is an independent enterprise space built and managed by BASICC, a local social enterprise dedicated to the regeneration of Ballybofey and Stranorlar. The new DigiHub focuses on strengthening the growing ICT and Digital sector in the area by dedicating a space for businesses in these industries to work together, sharing knowledge, skills and networks. With 23 desks available for short-term or casual hire, the hub can accommodate more than 20 tenants in addition to the business units available for permanent hire with capacity to accommodate an additional 50+ tenants. The DigiHub also offers a range of supports to start-ups including one-to-one business mentoring as well as access to mentoring through a network of support businesses via the Ballybofey and Stranorlar Chamber of Commerce; networking and informal learning opportunities; supportive promotion through social media channels; training opportunities; and signposting to key statutory agencies for assistance. One such company benefiting from the SIRO 1 GB connection at BASE Enterprise Centre is Secora Consulting.  Speaking at the launch of the Stranorlar hub, Phillip Close, Director of Secora Consulting said "The DigiHub will bring new and exciting opportunities for many in the Ballybofey/Stranorlar and surrounding areas. We're looking forward to being a part of the DigiHub Community and welcoming other Digital & ICT businesses to the growing network there as well. All of the business facilities required such as gigabit FTTH broadband, meeting rooms, recording studio, office space and co-working areas will now be available to support many with their business needs and ensure a healthy work-life balance.” inside the digihub The DigiHub is the latest to receive free SIRO powered one Gigabit broadband connection, provided by Vodafone and offered to 16 co-working hubs across the country. Launched in 2017, the Gigabit Hub Initiative was ahead of its time in aiming to spark a digital transformation across regional Ireland and boost local economies. SIRO’s 100% fibre-optic Gigabit connectivity, which is recognised as the international gold standard of broadband, is helping to reverse the digital divide in Ireland by offering connectivity that is better than what is available in Dublin.

These hubs, powered by 1 Gigabit broadband, are an example of how local people and businesses can work together to generate economic growth in rural areas, but they also offer employees and business owners access to the digital society and the opportunity to pursue their careers and business ventures in towns and villages across Ireland.”

Sinéad Bryan, Vodafone Business Managing Director 

siros john keaney at digihub Present at the launch of the Digihub was Minister for Rural and Community Development and Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphries, who remarked: “As we phase out restrictions put in place during COVID-19, it’s more relevant than ever to invest in co-working spaces for those who wish to remain in their home counties and avoid long commutes to Dublin and larger cities. The launch of today’s hub in the heart of Stranorlar highlights the appetite for hybrid working in regional Ireland to remain. Thanks to the partnership of Donegal CoCo, the Western Development Commission, SIRO and Vodafone, this Gigabit hub can enable Stranorlar to have connectivity unparalleled to anyone in the country.” Commenting on the milestone of becoming part of the Gigabit Hub initiative, Kieran Doherty, Chairperson of BASICC said: “The BASE is a core part of the regeneration strategy for Stranorlar, Ballybofey and the surrounding area.  In order for the area to flourish, we have to be able to connect to any part of the world instantly and Gigabit connectivity means that we have the same world class broadband that is available in international hubs like Tokyo or Singapore. So we are delighted to be part of SIRO and Vodafone’s Gigabit Hub initiative as it will help us to keep people who had been working remotely in the area during the pandemic here and attract more people back to the Finn Valley.”  

Visit our Gigabit Hubs Page

While broadband has always been important, at no other time has the role of connectivity felt more essential than during the outbreak of COVID-19. Everything from meetings at the office to classes at school and happy hours with friends on a Friday night are now occurring in the digital world. Reliable connectivity has become the only means for all of us to continue our work, educate children, stay in touch with our loved ones, keep ourselves entertained and more. SIRO as a telecom provider has been designated as ‘Essential Services’, and we have continued our build and installation activities following strict Government guidelines. As of April 2020, we are looking at 320,000 homes and businesses across 21 counties in Ireland that can benefit from life-changing 100% fibre connectivity. In this article, we outline our commitment and actions as an Essential Services provider to keep the people of Ireland connected through this difficult time. SIRO broadband

SIRO Build, Installation and Network Performance.

In the midst of COVID-19 restrictions, we have added an additional 10,000 premises to the SIRO network while following strict Government guidelines. Our installation activities are continuing where possible, to ensure that consumers can connect to SIRO. In March, our team completed over 2,600 installations across Ireland – that’s another 2,600 homes and businesses that can benefit from 100% fibre broadband in this difficult time. We have made it our priority to connect front-line workers and essential services workers to the network so that they can perform their duties in keeping Ireland running.

[caption id="attachment_5274" align="alignright" width="1300"] Cian O'Mahony, Head of Operations, SIRO[/caption]

In terms of network performance, our latest data show a major increase in broadband consumption during the day as the entire family or household are at home. Yet there has been no disruption to our service, as SIRO is built with 100% fibre-optic cables, and each Gigabit is capable of managing 400 times the average user speed observed on the network. Thanks to the power of fibre-optics, multiple devices can be connected simultaneously in the home, so that working parents can have seamless videos calls when the kids are streaming their favourite shows.

SIRO Gigabit Hubs are Open for Essential Services

Launched in 2016, the SIRO and Vodafone Gigabit Hub Initiative aims to spark  a digital transformation across Ireland, encouraging job creation and economic growth. Since then, these Gigabit Hubs have expanded across 15 counties and made remote working possible for many people. [caption id="attachment_5269" align="aligncenter" width="771"]Ludgate Hub, Skibbereen Ludgate Hub, Skibbereen[/caption] We are delighted that our partners Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen and HQKerry Hubs in Tralee and Listowel will remain accessible for those involved in the published list of Essential Service Providers, where they cannot work from home. In particular, the team in HQTralee has donated an entire floor as an overflow space to the Tralee Gardai on the frontline, to provide them with a 24/7 accessible space in the heart of Tralee. [caption id="attachment_5268" align="aligncenter" width="751"]HQ Tralee HQ Tralee[/caption]

As a nation, we are one community in the battle against COVID-19. As an Essential Services businesses, SIRO is committed to keeping the network stable and the connectivity robust in the times when the country needs us most.

Cavan Digital Hub in will be the latest co-working facility to become part of SIRO and Vodafone’s national Gigabit Hub Initiative when it opens next month, following investment of over €600,000. Cavan Digital Hub will be the 13th Gigabit Hub connected through the initiative, which offers a 1 Gigabit broadband connection to qualifying business hubs free of charge for two years. The hub has already attracted anchor clients including business intelligence and data analytics consultancy Apridata and cloud solutions company Glic Tech, both of whom have an international customer base and Cinnte Technologies, which provides IT services to SME’s and schools in the region. Cavan Digital Hub’s Gigabit connectivity enables companies using the space to do business with clients from any part of the world seamlessly, whilst also enjoying the quality of life and competitive cost base that Cavan offers. Cavan town has positioned itself as an ideal business location due to a wide array of economic and social infrastructures in the area, the N3 and proximity to Dublin and Belfast airports. The SIRO rollout in the town has boosted its appeal to entrepreneurs, relocating businesses, foreign direct investment and remote workers.  

Three Centres now Conncted to Gigabit Broadband in Cavan

Cavan has played a key role in SIRO’s history, as it was the wholesale broadband operator’s original trial location in 2015. Cavan Digital Hub has now become the third centre in the town Cavan to be connected to the SIRO and Vodafone Gigabit Hubs Initiative, alongside the Centre for Social Gain and Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre. Commenting about the announcement, Leanne Connell, Cavan Digital Hub Manager, Cavan Digital Hub are proud to identify as a Gigabit Hub via SIRO & Vodafone. Being able to offer businesses high speed broadband has been a huge advantage to us. High speed, reliable broadband has become an essential component of business, and we look forward to enabling digital businesses to grow and thrive in our facility. “Offering hot desks, private offices, meeting room facilities, along with opportunities to collaborate & network with other businesses in the same field, combined with offering a high-speed connection, all within one facility, is a fantastic step for the digital economy of Cavan town, and the greater Cavan region.” Ronan Whelan, Chief Commercial Officer in SIRO, added: “SIRO has formed a close partnership with Cavan County Council, which has been critical to adding Cavan Digital Hub to the Gigabit Hubs Initiative. The SIRO network now extends to over 4300 homes and businesses in Cavan, giving them access to the best broadband in Ireland. High speed broadband connectivity is vital for regional towns competing for investment and having strategic co-working facility with a 1 Gigabit broadband connection like Cavan Digital Hub makes Cavan a winning location.” Regina Moran, Vodafone Ireland Business Director said: “I am delighted to announce that, through the SIRO Vodafone partnership, we have reached yet another significant milestone in terms of providing connectivity to regional areas of Ireland. “The Gigabit Hub initiative is providing vital infrastructure at pace across the country and in doing so is helping promote rural Ireland as a place to do business. This initiative allows people to work smarter, have a better work/life balance and pursue careers in towns and villages across Ireland. Through our commitment to improve rural connectivity by bringing high-speed broadband to hubs such as Cavan Digital Hub, we can try reverse commuting and urban migration trends and help increase productivity by allowing people to work closer to home. It will also create employment opportunities for the people of Cavan and surrounding communities and help to stimulate the local economy”.  

Supporting Economic Growth in Regional Towns

Vodafone and SIRO’s Gigabit Hub Initiative was designed to spark a digital transformation in towns across Ireland and encourage job and economic growth in regional towns. As the 14th hub to receive the award, Cavan Digital Hub joins the Ludgate Hub (Skibbereen), Tralee HQ (Tralee), Dundalk RDC (Dundalk), The Mill (Drogheda), Enterprise House (Carlow), New Work Junction (Carlow/Kilkenny/Wexford), Centre for Social Gain (Cavan), Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre (Cavan), The Landing Space (Sligo), Vision 85 Portlaoise and Irish Manufacturing Research (Mullingar) which have all been connected to SIRO’s 100% fibre-optic network. Using the existing ESB network, SIRO delivers fibre optic cables all the way to the building. This technology, known as Fibre-to-the-Building, has no copper connections at any point to slow down the network and delivers 1 Gigabit speeds. For context, when downloading a high definition film (4 Gigabytes) with a 10 Mbps connection, the download time is an hour - with SIRO it takes approximately 30 seconds. SIRO is offered on an open-access basis to all telecoms retailers in Ireland, with 10 retailers offering connections to over 242,000 homes and businesses. SIRO has formed partnerships with 10 operators – Vodafone, Digiweb, Sky, BT, Carnsore Broadband, Rocket Broadband, Kerry Broadband, eNet, Airwire and WestNet – with more retailers expected to come on board as the company drives competition in the wholesale broadband market.
Vodafone Ireland has today released data that shows 22,200 people commute to Dublin from Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford each day at the launch of three new SIRO-powered Gigabit hubs in the South East. Using insights gained from the combined Vodafone network performance data and CSO population data analytics, the information provides a clear understanding of the commuter trends along the M7, M9 and M11 and the sheer scale of people commuting to Dublin.  

New Work Junction Hubs

New Work Junction hubs in Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford are the latest to receive free SIRO powered fibre Gigabit connectivity, provided by Vodafone and offered to 13 co-working hubs across the country. By providing high-speed connectivity to hubs in regional towns, the initiative supports local businesses and workers who want to work remotely. Since the launch of the Kilkenny hub in 2015, New Work Junction – a group of co-working centres – has expanded its operations to include Carlow, officially opened today at a special event with Treasa Doran, Vodafone Ireland, Ronan Whelan, SIRO, Vanessa Tierney, Abodoo, Tracy Keogh, Grow Remote and two remote workers speaking.  

Vodafone/SIRO Gigabit Hub Initiative

Launched in 2017, the Vodafone/ SIRO Gigabit Hub Initiative was designed to spark a digital transformation in 15 towns across Ireland and encourage job creation and economic growth. SIRO’s 100% fibre-optic Gigabit connectivity, which is three times as powerful as the best service in Dublin and 10 times more powerful than the fastest average internet speed in Ireland, gives businesses in the three hubs world-class broadband connectivity. Speaking at the event, Head of Commercial at Vodafone Business Ireland Treasa Doran, said: “We are delighted to provide free Gigabit connectivity to three more co-working hubs and see the expansion of our initiative to 13. This initiative is allowing people to work smarter, have a better work/life balance and pursue careers in towns and villages across Ireland. Through our commitment to improve rural connectivity by bringing high-speed broadband to hubs such as New Work Junction, we can try reverse commuting and urban migration trends and help increase productivity by allowing people to work closer to home and spend less time on the road”. The Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, which was the first hub connected by SIRO in July 2016, is an ‘exemplar project’ that has been recognised by the European Commission and is on course to create 500 jobs over the next five years in West Cork.” Ronan Whelan, Chief Commercial Officer SIRO added: “By delivering Gigabit connectivity to these three hubs, we have made remote working a real option for 350 people. This highlights the real difference that 100% fibre-optic broadband can make to people’s lives by saving commuters from sitting in traffic. The rise in hubs like New Work Junction clearly illustrates the huge demand in regional towns for connectivity and thanks to our network Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford have the same level of world-class broadband as leading international hubs like Hong Kong and Tokyo. It forms part of our rollout in the South East, with Gigabit connectivity available to over 23,000 premises in the region to date.” Founder of New Work Junction Tom O’Neill said: “Since I started the New Work Junction hubs in 2015, I’ve noticed that we have a steady number of start-ups and freelancers, but also an ever increasing number of remote workers. I see these remote working hubs as a chance to reduce travel time for the thousands of commuters who make the trip to Dublin from the South East every day”. “We’re keen to be fully engaged in this conversation and appreciate the support of organisations such as Vodafone and SIRO in ensuring we have the high-speed connectivity we need to attract people to our hubs. Together, and with other organisations, we can begin to catalyse the big change that needs to happen towards a re-distributed workforce.” One such company benefiting from the SIRO 1 GB connection is Bórd na Móna.  Speaking about New Work Junction, employee Pat Considine said: “It has been a huge benefit to me overall, not just in terms of saving a two hour commute. I find I get more work done as there are less interruptions and distractions and there is a good work environment and atmosphere with everyone who works there.”
25th October 2018: Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR), the Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland-backed technology centre in Mullingar - tasked with helping to make Ireland a world leader in advanced manufacturing operations – has today been announced as the latest participant of Vodafone and SIRO’s national Gigabit Hub Initiative, which offers a 1 Gigabit broadband connection to qualifying business hubs free of charge for two years. The Gigabit connectivity will enable IMR to collaborate with Irish and multinational companies at home and abroad to develop, and commercialise new technologies in diverse areas such as collaborative robotics and augmented reality to ensure the continued competitiveness of Ireland’s manufacturing industry. A number of Danish organisations visited IMR this week to witness its world class research facilities and experience the 1 Gigabit broadband network first hand, which puts the centre on a par for broadband connectivity with international hubs like Hong Kong and Tokyo. LEGO was part of the visiting group and is already collaborating with Sam Del-Greco, VR AR and Machine Vision Lead at IMR, on potential applications for augmented and virtual reality. The Gigabit Hub initiative will enable IMR to engage in data intensive online collaboration with companies like LEGO that would not otherwise be possible. Vodafone and SIRO’s Gigabit Hub Initiative was designed to spark a digital transformation in towns across Ireland and encourage job and economic growth in regional towns. As the eighth hub to receive the award, IMR joins the Ludgate Hub (Skibbereen), Tralee HQ (Tralee), Dundalk RDC (Dundalk IT) and The Mill (Drogheda), Enterprise House (Carlow), Centre for Social Gain (Cavan) and Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre (Cavan), which have all been connected to SIRO’s 100% fibre-optic network. Commenting on the announcement, Andrew Lynch, Chief Innovation & Network Officer at Irish Manufacturing Research, said, “With manufacturing representing approximately 30% of Irish GDP, it is vital that Ireland leads the way in advanced manufacturing operations. Gigabit connectivity is a gamechanger in this respect for IMR as our researchers need the ability to collaborate on cutting edge technologies with organisations all over the world. Thanks to our 1 Gigabit connection from Vodafone and SIRO, being based in Mullingar does not make a difference to our partners as our broadband is on a par to that available in Hong Kong and Tokyo.” Suzanne Tracy, SIRO’s CTO, added, “With manufacturing firms investing over €3.4 billion in the economy, it is vital that we continue to attract investment and give Irish companies a platform to innovate. IMR is now ideally placed to collaborate with organisations anywhere in the world thanks to our Gigabit connectivity, which is Ireland’s most powerful broadband. With 82% of manufacturing employment in Ireland based in the regions, this highlights how Fibre-to-the Home broadband technology is vital to enabling Irish businesses to compete.” Debbie Ward, Regional Sales Manager at Vodafone Ireland, also said: “With fast speed networks and widespread connectivity comes incredible ideas, innovations and technologies that help make our lives easier, healthier, smarter and more fulfilling. The research that takes place at IMR is a perfect example of this and Gigabit connectivity underpins the unique blend of collaboration between industry, academia and the wider research community taking place at the centre. By becoming part of our Gigabit Hub initiative, IMR is now ideally placed to help Ireland be a leading light in the world of advanced manufacturing operations.”

Minister Heather Humphreys to help 'Silver Surfers' stay connected in Cavan and Monaghan with launch of Gigabit broadband service

  Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Fine Gael TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Heather Humphreys TD, today unveiled a new 1 Gigabit fibre broadband service at the Centre for Social Gain at Castlemanor Community Centre in Cavan as part of celebrations for Positive Age’s 30th anniversary of delivering social inclusion projects for older people in Cavan and Monaghan. To mark the launch of the new 1 Gigabit fibre-optic broadband connection, provided by Vodafone and powered by SIRO’s 100% fibre-optic network, some attendees at the special event recalled their experiences as part of a ceremony dubbed ‘From Candle Light to Fibre Optic Light.’ Positive Age’s members, all in their late eighties, recalled a time when they wrote letters to family around the word by candlelight which took weeks to arrive, where now, through their computer classes, they can send messages and photos instantly and talk to their relatives live anywhere in the world. As part of Vodafone and SIRO’s initiative, the center will now have access to what is regarded as the international gold standard for broadband globally with a 100% fibre-optic broadband connection, which is three times as powerful as the best service in Dublin and 10 times more powerful than the fastest average internet speed in Ireland, enabling the organisation to broaden the services it offers its members. Positive Age, which operates the Centre for Social Gain, runs a series of initiatives for older people in Cavan and Monaghan including technology training, arts and drama projects and educational trips abroad, with the aim of promoting a positive attitude to ageing and combating isolation of older people in the area. Speaking at the ceremony, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD said: “I am delighted to launch the new Gigabit broadband services at Positive Age’s Centre for Social Gain and to hear some of their members’ stories, which illustrate how the internet is changing lives in Cavan. This project is a fantastic example of how we can help connect different generations both at home and abroad, as well as being testament to the Government’s policy to improve regional broadband connectivity. The initiative also demonstrates how the not for profit sector and enterprise can collaborate for the good of society.” Brian Daly, Positive Age, commented: “We are excited to receive this service from Vodafone and SIRO, as it will help power the Centre for Social Gain’s potential to provide a vital social outlet and a hub for lifelong learning in Cavan and Monaghan. Broadband is a key tool for helping to promote social inclusion and you only have to hear the stories from our members as to how communication has changed over their lifetime. The ability to see a grandchild on the other side of the world on a video call is literally lifechanging, so we are very grateful for the support from both companies.” Stephen O’Connor, SIRO Director of Corporate Affairs, also said: “SIRO is helping to bridge the so called “Digital Divide” between Dublin and regional towns like Cavan. There is another divide that we are very conscious of, and that is the differing levels of computer literacy and digital skills in Ireland particularly across the generations. SIRO ran its initial technical trials in Cavan in 2015 and the whole town now has access to the same level of broadband connectivity as cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo. This partnership with Positive Age helps to make sure as many older people as possible get to experience SIRO and enjoy the benefits of a connected world.” Debbie Ward, Regional Sales Manager at Vodafone Ireland, added: “Isolation and loneliness unfortunately still affects far too many of our elderly throughout Ireland today. I'm therefore delighted to support the brilliant work Positive Age is doing to combat the most pressing issue facing older people in our country as it sets out to bring improved quality of life to this community. Working together, we need to do everything we can to protect older people today and this connection now means that they can reach out to loved ones and friends across Ireland, and the rest of the world, and to stay connected.”

SIRO and Westnet Power Westport’s Leeson Enterprise Centre With Gigabit Connectivity

It has been announced that Westport’s Leeson Enterprise Centre is to be enabled with a 1 Gigabit broadband connection provided by Westnet and powered by SIRO, the wholesale broadband operator building Ireland’s 100% fibre-optic broadband network. As a result, the Leeson Enterprise Centre, which was officially opened by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring T.D., will have access to the same level of broadband connectivity that is typically only available to international companies in cities like Hong Kong or Tokyo. The Leeson Enterprise Centre is an innovation hub designed to help local entrepreneurs and start-ups in Mayo succeed, with a range of facilities such as hot desks, co-working office space, private office space and meeting room facilities provided at the centre. SIRO’s Gigabit connectivity, which is three times as powerful as the market leading service in Dublin and 10 times as powerful as the market leading service in rural Ireland, will help firms based in the Leeson Enterprise Centre to benefit from the best broadband network in Ireland and face no restrictions due to poor connectivity when selling their products and services online or using services like video conferencing to communicate with their customers. Westnet, the Mayo based broadband provider, is one of SIRO’s retail partners and is already delivering a range of 100% fibre optic broadband packages for both residential and business customers in Castlebar and Westport. Westnet and SIRO have joined forces to provide the 1 Gigabit broadband connection to the Leeson Enterprise Centre for free for a two year period in a bid to help bolster innovation in Westport by making the town more attractive for businesses to relocate to and for entrepreneurs to establish their business in the centre. Stephanie Colombani, Westport Chamber CEO, said: “Westport is home to a vibrant and innovative business community, with companies in a wide variety of industries from the hospitality to pharmaceutical sectors. The beautiful surroundings of Westport make it an idyllic place to live, but also an inspiring place to conduct business. Broadband is vital to all firms whether it is hotels taking bookings or engineering companies sending large files around the world. Without high speed connectivity jobs and businesses would not be able to locate to the Leeson Enterprise Centre and would have to relocate to larger cities. Being connected to infrastructure like SIRO’s 100% fibre-optic network is a game changer for us as it is a vital factor in the decision-making process for any company looking to establish itself in Westport.” Commenting on the announcement, Westnet CEO and co-founder, Paul Cunnane commented: “Having a good broadband service is essential in the modern digital age, so, as a local company, we are delighted to offer The Leeson Enterprise Centre’s businesses broadband that is faster than any other network in Ireland. Gigabit connectivity is the starting point in the creation of a Gigabit Society across Ireland which will offer employees in these businesses a better work/life balance and allow them to pursue their careers in Westport without sacrificing their quality of life, rather than being forced to move to cities or abroad.” Stephen O’Connor, SIRO’s Director of Corporate Affairs, added: “SIRO’s connection to The Leeson Enterprise Centre is a tremendous boost for Westport as it is already quickly establishing itself as a vibrant start-up location for the West. This forms part of our strategy to revitalise towns across Ireland by sparking a digital transformation, helping to attract investment and encouraging more people to establish businesses in towns like Westport. As our 100% fibre optic broadband network, powered entirely by light, is different and better than any other technology, we have future-proofed Westport’s broadband needs for decades to come and made the town part of the Gigabit society in Ireland.”

ENTERPRISE HOUSE IN CARLOW ANNOUNCED AS VODAFONE & SIRO’S LATEST GIGABIT HUB

Enterprise House in Carlow has today been announced as the latest participant of Vodafone and SIRO’s national Gigabit Hub Initiative, which offers a 1 Gigabit broadband connection to qualifying business hubs free of charge for two years. Vodafone and SIRO designed the initiative to spark a digital transformation in towns across Ireland and encourage job and economic growth in regional towns. One year on from its launch, the initiative has supported business and enterprise hubs to attract new companies and encourage people to relocate to communities and towns around the country. The five hubs that have received gigabit connectivity to date have expanded with 29 new companies moving to their premises, with an additional 80 people on site. The six hubs, including Carlow, are now planning further expansion, with an extra 200 jobs targeted over the next three years. As the sixth hub to receive the award, Enterprise House joins the Ludgate Hub (Skibbereen), Tralee HQ (Tralee), Dundalk RDC (Dundalk IT), The Mill (Drogheda) and Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre (Cavan), which have all been connected to the SIRO 100% fibre-optic network. Currently supporting 20 businesses and 93 people on site, Enterprise House targets start-ups and growing enterprises in Carlow with the aim of fostering entrepreneurship and developing economic activity in the Carlow area. The new 1 Gigabit broadband connection, provided as part of this initiative, will help broaden Enterprise House’s appeal to entrepreneurs and companies looking to locate their company outside of the major cities, and for professionals to work remotely or commute from the town. In addition, average residential rents in Carlow are €713 per month, 31% cheaper than the national average and average house prices stand approximately €66,000 cheaper that national rates. This highlights the significant benefits to workers choosing Carlow as a place to work. Speaking at the launch of the Gigabit Hub in Enterprise House, Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive of Carlow County Council, said: “County Carlow as the gateway County to the South East with its proximity to Dublin provides an ideal base for companies to start, locate, innovate and grow. We understand that connectivity both from a physical viewpoint in terms of a supportive enterprise community and from a digital viewpoint is of paramount importance to supporting business growth.” “Carlow County Council is committed to providing a one stop shop for entrepreneurs working with Enterprise Ireland, IDA, County Carlow Chamber and our two third level institutions and incubation and development centres like Enterprise House. We welcome the Vodafone & SIRO 1 Gigabit broadband connection in Enterprise House which will further enable the centre to drive innovation and assist companies to reach their business goals.” Anne O’Leary, Vodafone Ireland CEO, added: “As the sixth hub to be unveiled as part of this initiative, I’m delighted to witness the tangible, long-term benefits that businesses, irrespective of size or location, can achieve through 1 Gigabit connectivity. Job creation, economic growth and the ability to stand shoulder to shoulder with international organisations are only some of the many benefits that can be achieved through equal access to gigabit speed broadband. Vodafone is fully committed to championing the digital potential of businesses and communities all over Ireland and the Gigabit Hub Initiative is the spark to that transformation.” Sean Atkinson, SIRO CEO, also said: “One year on since the launch of the Gigabit Hub initiative with Vodafone, we are already seeing real results, with participating hubs expanding due to demand for Ireland’s most powerful broadband. We are sparking a digital transformation across Ireland, with the local economy in each town boosted as a result, with companies relocating to the area and entrepreneurs establishing their businesses in the community. Carlow and the other locations now have the same level of connectivity as cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo, so there is nothing to hold any of these businesses back in terms of competing with any other firm in the world.” Using the existing ESB network, SIRO is delivered through fibre optic cables which run alongside existing electricity connections, all the way to the building. This technology, known as fibre to the home (FTTH), has no copper connections at any point to slow down the network and delivers 1 Gigabit download and upload speeds. For context, when downloading a high definition film (4 Gigabytes) with a 10 Mbps connection, the download time is an hour - with SIRO it takes approximately 30 seconds. Services powered by SIRO are already live or under construction in 35 towns across the country, with eight retailers offering connections to over 150,000 homes and businesses.

The Launch of CITC

On this week's 'The Ready Business' show, Brian Purcell was in Cavan town for the launch of Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre (CITC). CITC is the latest location to be part of Vodafone and SIRO’s national Gigabit Hub Initiative, which offers a one Gigabit broadband connection to qualifying business hubs free of charge for two years. Speakers at the launch included Vincent Reynolds, CEO Cavan County Enterprise Board and CEO of the new Cavan Gigabit Hub, Richard Stafford, CEO Apri Data, Liam O’Brien, Director of Strategy & External Affairs of Vodafone Ireland and Stephen O'Connor, SIRO's Director of Corporate Affairs. Have a listen to the interview below. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/362428388" <params="color=00cc11&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

MINISTER FOR CULTURE HEATHER HUMPHREYS UNVEILS CAVAN CENTRE AS VODAFONE & SIRO’S FIFTH NATIONAL GIGABIT HUB

Minister for Culture and Fine Gael TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Heather Humphreys, today unveiled the Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre (CITC), which encompasses Cavan Enterprise Centre, as the next location to be part of Vodafone and SIRO’s national Gigabit Hub Initiative, which offers a 1 Gigabit broadband connection to qualifying business hubs free of charge for two years. As the fifth Hub to receive the award, CITC joins the Ludgate Hub (Skibbereen), Tralee HQ (Tralee), Dundalk RDC (Dundalk IT) and The Mill (Drogheda) which have all been connected to the SIRO 100% fibre-optic network. Launched earlier this year the Vodafone / SIRO Gigabit Hub Initiative was designed to spark a digital transformation in 15 towns across Ireland and encourage job and economic growth in regional towns. The Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, which was the first hub connected by SIRO in July 2016, is an ‘exemplar project’ that was shortlisted for the European Commission Broadband Awards in 2016 and is on course to create 500 jobs over the next five years in West Cork. SIRO’s Gigabit connectivity, which is three times as powerful as the best service in Dublin and 10 times more powerful than the fastest average internet speed in Ireland., gives businesses in the CTIC world-class broadband connectivity allowing them to compete and grow. CITC was established to promote innovation and technology support in the Cavan and border region by providing local businesses with education, training, technology and facilities needed to support enterprise development and create economic growth, as well as providing a one stop shop for entrepreneurs. State agencies such as the Local Enterprise Office and IDA Ireland are co-located at CITC, with all supports and training by the Local Enterprise Office delivered at the centre. The Hub, incorporating Cavan Enterprise Centre, currently accommodates 10 companies who employ over 310 people. One such company benefiting from the SIRO 1 GB connection is Apridata, which was established in 2014 as a business intelligence and data analytics consultancy. With customers and prospects in locations all over the world, Apridata chose Cavan because of its amenities, quality of life and sense of community. Critical, however, was gaining access to high speed broadband which is fundamental for the company’s success and allows it to do business and connect with customers across the world. In 2015, SIRO selected Cavan as the first town to trial the new technology which saw 300 homes in the Aughnaskerry and Rocklands estates equipped with a 100% fibre-to-the-building connection. The Cavan network now extends to over 4,000 homes and businesses who enjoy the same level of connectivity as leading international hubs like Hong Kong and Tokyo. Speaking at the launch of the Gigabit Hub in Cavan, Minister for Culture and TD for Cavan- Monaghan Heather Humphreys said: “I am delighted to unveil Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre as the latest Gigabit Hub by Siro and Vodafone. Access to high speed broadband in today’s economy is as vital to infrastructure as canals and roadways were to businesses in the last century, and this project perfectly complements Government policy of encouraging commercial investment in broadband. The initiative also illustrates how local people and business interests can work together to generate economic activity, and I would like to commend everyone involved for their hard work and commitment.” Vincent Reynolds, CEO, Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre said: “The unique natural surroundings of County Cavan underpin the success of its living and working communities. Inspiration breeds innovation, which, in the right environment, breeds success and this was the motivating factor behind the establishment of CITC. As a recipient of Vodafone and SIRO’s 1 Gigabit broadband connection, we will be able to further drive innovation and help companies at the centre reach greater heights.” Liam O’Brien, Director of Strategy & External Affairs of Vodafone Ireland, added: “The Gigabit Hub Initiative was created in order to empower local businesses and communities through connected technologies. As the fifth hub, I’m delighted that businesses in the Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre will have access to SIRO’s 100% fibre-optic network. Gigabit connectivity is the starting point in the creation of a Gigabit Society across Ireland which will offer employees a better work/life balance and allow them to pursue their careers in towns across Ireland without sacrificing their quality of life, rather than being forced to move to cities or abroad.” Stephen O’Connor, Corporate Affairs Director of SIRO, also said: “We are delighted that CITC has become our latest Gigabit Hub, given Cavan’s key role in SIRO’s history. Cavan was our original trial town, when we connected the Aughnaskerry and Rocklands estates back in 2015 and we got a great reception in the town. The SIRO network now extends to over 4,000 homes and businesses in Cavan town which all have access to the best connectivity in Ireland, rivalling international hubs like Hong Kong and Tokyo. Good connectivity is vital for regional towns competing for investment and jobs and having a 1 GB network in the town and a strategic centre like the CITC makes Cavan attractive for entrepreneurs to establish their business or for companies looking to invest” Richard Stafford, Founder and CEO of Apridata, said: “CITC’s Gigabit connectivity is a game-changer for Apridata. With customers and prospects in locations as diverse as the Caribbean and Sweden, broadband is critical for our company. For our services, geographic location is not a limiting factor; we can market, sell and deliver digitally with video conferencing playing a vital role in our sales process. To succeed we need the bandwidth in place to ensure we deliver a professional experience - you lose credibility if there’s any lag or if your call unexpectedly drops due to poor broadband. We manage and process large volumes of data and the 1 Gigabit connection provided to us by Vodafone and SIRO enables us to do this productively. As a result, we can deliver services that empower our clients to make better business decisions faster.” A video of Richard Stafford, Founder and CEO of Apridata, located at CITC, the fifth hub to receive two years of free gigabit fibre broadband from SIRO and Vodafone as part of the companies’ national Gigabit Hub Initiative can be viewed here.