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Why 10 Gigabits, Why Now?

On 1 June last, SIRO launched its’ 10 Gigabit (10G) enabled broadband network in Galway city. The first city in Ireland to have this high speed, large bandwidth network at its disposal. At the end August, SIRO’s entire fibre broadband network was upgraded to 10 Gigabits. This €10 million, 15-month upgrade project includes our full existing SIRO network, i.e., 450,000+ premises we have already passed and the further 320,000 we are in the process of passing right now.

10G: what is it?

From the middle of last year, SIRO began the process of upgrading its’ existing network to a 10 Gigabit network using XGS-PON technology. G-PON stands for Gigabit PON or 1 Gigabit PON. The “X” in XGS represents the number 10, and the letter “S” stands for symmetrical, XGS-PON = 10 Gigabit Symmetrical PON. The upgrade allows SIRO to turbo-charge our existing network from a one Gigabit network to a network providing up to 10G connections which are symmetrical (same upload and download speeds), much more reliable, with lower latencies and better security.

The point of a 10G network is the flexibility to scale up seamlessly as your data demands grow. One Gigabit to two, four, six Gigabits and so on

What can it do?

One of the most prominent and headline grabbing aspects of 10 G is speed, specifically speed of data transfer. 10 Gbps lets you transfer at a rate of 1.25 GB/s when you copy a file to another computer across the SIRO network. This equates to sending a 20 GB file in under 20 seconds. At SIRO we know, that at least for the short-to-medium term, end users of this much larger bandwidth will be enterprise/business users vs. residential consumers. It makes sense. It is businesses, whether small or large, who typically move large data sets. However, the number of businesses who falls into this category is not as niche as it once might have been. As ever more intensive applications run on our servers or are stored in the Cloud, the amount of data created, stored and transferred increases each day. Add in the growing automation of once manual tasks and the need for high-speed internet as the key enabler of these processes becomes clear.

10G will become the technology platform for this phase of digital adaptation across the world. It will ensure that technology in our lives becomes even more embedded and integrated

Speed and bandwidth are also important for business where large numbers of colleagues and clients need to connect at once. Both now have an expectation of being able to access services when they require them and that this access is dependable and consistent. Business, for reasons of productivity, reputation and of course the bottom line, cannot afford to have any bottlenecks in their connectivity which can hold their business back. Businesses with many employees and multiple clients all logging on at the same time are obvious candidates for much higher speeds. Yet over recent years as our use of digital technologies has grown, it has spawned new types of business which are equally heavy data users. Businesses in the creative sector is one example. While they may not be big in terms of employee head count, they are big users of data. Think content creators in advertising, digital or marketing agencies, animators, film or videographers, game design – all transferring large files each day. Though smaller companies, the creative sector in its’ totality is a significant sector, employing up to 5% of the Irish workforce or about 100,000.

Do I need 10G?

In truth, it depends. If you are an individual, doing video editing, streaming, audio production, activities which involve a large amount of data and if your workflow currently lags due to slow speeds, then likely you do need to move up the Gigabit ranks from the standard one Gigabit to higher speeds. The point of a 10G network is the flexibility to scale up seamlessly as your data demands grow. One Gigabit to two, four, six Gigabits and so on. The use case is much clearer if you are a business or enterprise. If your business has large file sizes to deal; you use HD streaming or your company is growing in terms of capability or headcount, then there is a real risk of congestion on your network necessitating larger bandwidth.

10G will become the technology platform for this phase of digital adaptation across the world.

An important additional benefit of SIRO’s 10G network is affordability. Previously access to high-speed point-to-point (P2P) services was largely just available to very big organisations with substantial IT budgets. With this upgrade SIRO have changed that market limiting dynamic.

A 10 Gigabit Future?

Just as when once the need for one Gigabit broadband met with questions on the use case of that level of bandwidth; some might today ask a similar question of 10 Gigabit broadband. Those of us who have seen the relentless march of data demands, know better than to ask that question anymore. Instead, the more pertinent question for business and society to consider are what processes and technologies (many, not yet invented) can this level of bandwidth unlock for the benefit of all? 10G will become the technology platform for this phase of digital adaptation across the world. It will ensure that technology in our lives becomes even more embedded and integrated. Healthcare professionals will monitor and diagnose their patients remotely in real-time, our students will collaborate and learn not just from their classmates but with other children across the world and virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) will change many aspects of how we live from retail, to home entertainment, to the world of work. In SIRO we have always sought to drive innovation in the Irish broadband market to make the probable, possible. Today’s focus may be on 10 Gigabits, but the direction of journey to 25 Gigabits is already coming into view. To find out if your business can avail of SIRO for Business, please visit www.siro.ie/search-your-eircode
It’s that time of year where students big and small return to school with heavy backpacks and refreshed minds, while parents feel relieved that routine and lessons are back. We’re used to the regular checklist of back-to-school with pens, paper, and countless books, but what about a reliable broadband connection?   The pandemic demonstrated how connectivity supported the education sector, with classes pivoting online via video call platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Teachers and students alike showcased agility while traversing a new way of learning. In 2021, SIRO’s Director of People and Culture Blanaid O’Regan wrote about how e-learning is transforming the delivery of education, and the need to learn from the pandemic experiences – good and bad – and build on them.  At the same time, Ireland’s Department of Education was finalising its Digital Strategy for Education. In April 2022, it was published. It’s a five-year strategy to 2027 and follows on from its’ predecessor which concluded in 2020.   Digital learning is about using digital technologies and tools in a variety of ways and location, whether as a group or individual, in the classroom, at home or in other settings.  Embedding digital technologies and adopting digital approaches to classroom learning in our primary and post-primary education system is both a huge challenge and opportunity. To ensure that the new strategy was fit for purpose, the Department, wisely, commissioned a review of the previous Strategy.   While there were many positives, it also exposed the work still be completed. This included the fact that digital technologies were not a feature of teaching and learning in 45% and 38% of primary and post-primary schools. That many teachers still struggled to access the professional development needed to deploy digital technologies was another standout finding.   In contrast, where digital technologies were well embedded it was held that, “having access to high-speed and dependable broadband was one of the key supporting factors.”  To be fair, the new Strategy is working to address the imbalance between those in our education system with reliable broadband and those without high quality access.   It has set a target that all primary and post-primary schools will have access to a minimum of 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps respectively by 2023. This will be realised by a range of financial measures, including a €15 million per annum broadband fund.   The commitment to have a further funding envelope to allow for further broadband speed upgrades is also welcome and necessary. This is particularly the case where Gigabit speeds are fast becoming the norm as the footprint of fibre broadband stretches ever further across Ireland.   Having the backbone for digital technologies - reliable, high quality and future proofed broadband connectivity - is, without question, key. But so too is ensuring our schools have access to the expertise to deploy it in the correct way, maximise its potential and be sufficiently knowledgeable to troubleshoot when required.  The benefits of digital learning not only extend to primary and post-primary, but for all levels. Third level institutions have long offered flexible learning options through online courses for those working full time.  The tendency to rely on the sole teacher who is “good with technology” is something specifically called out in the Strategy and sensibly the Department is now looking to examine new procurement mechanisms to give all schools access to technology experts.   When it comes to the delivery of education, it is not just as simple as online/remote  vs. classroom learning and numerous studies examining which approach works best have shown different findings, depending on who or what was being asked.   Digital learning is about using digital technologies and tools in a variety of ways and locations, whether as a group or individual, in the classroom, at home or in other settings. What does matter hugely is digital literacy and adoption by students, teachers, and their parents too.  The benefits of digital learning not only extend to primary and post-primary, but for all levels. Third level institutions have long offered flexible learning options through online courses, including for those working full time. This demand for e-learning at further and higher-level educational settings looks set to grow.   During the current accommodation crisis facing students, while far from ideal, online education may be the difference for some between pursuing their course albeit online or not at all.   The new Digital Strategy for Education will make a significant contribution to improving the access to digital technologies in school setting and with-it digital literacy. However, the other vital cog in the wheel is to ensure high quality connectivity in the home.   For parents, having a reliable, steady, internet connection removes any stress from the learning process, so you and your child can focus on the homework at hand. The broadband landscape is changing on a monthly basis and the availability of high speed, future proofed broadband is reaching more areas day-by-day. If fibre broadband wasn’t an option when the last school year kicked off, just 12 months ago, it may be now.   It’s always worth checking your Eircode to confirm availability in your area, for your peace of mind and your kids!
SIRO, the broadband wholesaler, has today announced its sponsorship of Trinity Donaghmede FC. SIRO, which is rolling out a 100% fibre broadband network across Ireland, including in North Dublin, will specifically support the clubs under 9 team for the new season ahead. Trinity Donaghmede FC was formed in 1976 and is now based in Father Collins Park in Donaghmede. The club has expanded a lot over the last 40 plus years, particularly as new housing within the area has grown too over the period. Today, the club boasts 14 dressing rooms and 4 grass pitches. The teams and ages at the club range from 4-year-olds at the academy, up to the senior team and over 35s. The club is now a central part of the local area and supported hugely within the local community. The club’s academy is the starting point for kids kicking off their soccer journey with the club, with up to 80 kids involved in its’ activities each week. SIRO is a joint venture company between ESB and Vodafone, founded in 2015. SIRO’s state-of-the-art fibre broadband network is built on the ESB electricity infrastructure, trusted for its reliability and resilience. Overall, the company is investing more than €1 billion in delivering high speed, future proofed broadband across Ireland to 154 cities and towns. The company already has a significant presence in North Dublin where it is available to 50,000 premises including in Donaghmede, with a further 10,000 in Fingal currently under construction. The sponsorship is part of SIRO’s wider community activities which is focused on giving back and supporting the areas in which it is rolling out its’ full fibre network. SIRO’s Head of Marketing, Marianne Murphy, stated: “Since our fibre network rollout commenced in 2016, SIRO has placed a strong emphasis on supporting the communities which we are rolling out our network to. By working with voluntary groups such as Open Doors or Junior Achievement Ireland, we focus particularly on supporting young people. Our sponsorship of Trinty Donaghmede FC continues this work - so we are delighted to be sponsoring the Club’s next generation of players.” Commenting on the sponsorship, coach of the Trinity Donaghmede under 9s football team, Justin McCarthy noted: "This sponsorship means a lot to our team, and to the football club. Being provided with new, high-quality SIRO branded training gear as part of the sponsorship package provides a huge benefit to us as trying to afford the gear ourselves can be expensive. The team are looking forward to wearing their SIRO jerseys for the new season ahead. “We are pleased to have SIRO onboard as a club sponsor, as we recognise the valuable wider contribution, they are making to our community by bringing high quality connectivity to homes and businesses in Donaghmede". Trinity Donaghmede Coach Justin McCarthy holding up SIRO sponsored jersey Commenting on the sponsorship, Michael Keegan, who helps run the academy at Trinity Donaghmede FC notes: “Before Covid hit we had 17 teams within the club. Since then, this has grown by a further 7 teams to 24 today. Ideally every team needs a sponsor. What this sponsorship does is give an incredible boost for the club - kids, managers / parents, which can’t be underestimated. “It is a huge boost for all involved. Without a sponsor's kind generosity, the club wouldn't exist" “Most of all, the kids' faces and their excitement when they receive the new gear is priceless! It's all voluntary, so getting yearly sponsorships is massive for our club. It makes it all worthwhile.”  SIRO is available in Donaghmede and across Fingal.  For more information on if SIRO is available for your home or business, please visit www.siro.ie/check-your-availability or email info@siro.ie
SIRO, the broadband network operator, have today launched its new 100% fibre broadband network in Maynooth. SIRO’s broadband network will bring world class connectivity to 2,500 homes and businesses in Maynooth, with an investment of €4 million in the town. Areas within the town set to benefit include Main Street, O'Neill Park, Parson Street, Leinster Street, Pound Lane, Dublin Road, Doctor's Lane, Bere Street, Carton Grove, Carton Square, Pebble Hill Park, Limetree Hall, and Back Lane. With 600 homes and businesses already live and available to order, SIRO’s roll-out in Maynooth to a remaining 2,000 premises is ongoing and expected to complete by end September. SIRO’s investment in a new broadband network for Maynooth is part of the company’s ongoing fibre rollout across Ireland targeting 154 cities and towns and 770,000 premises. SIRO’s full fibre network in Maynooth is available to both residential and business customers. Maynooth Business Campus (MBC), which has over 100 national and multinational companies operating within it, is just one of the commercial locations where SIRO is already available. SIRO’s network in Maynooth is 10 Gigabit-enabled which means that enterprise customers can now avail of broadband speeds which will meet their current and further bandwidth requirements. Maynooth is the ninth Kildare town to go live on the SIRO network, with 30,000 premises in Naas, Athy, Johnstown, Kildare, Clane, Newbridge, Sallins and Prosperous are already able to connect to its future-proofed, gigabit broadband. a photo of racehorses on a racecourse with a map of Kildare in the foreground SIRO is a joint venture company between ESB and Vodafone, founded in 2015. SIRO’s state-of-the-art fibre broadband network is built on the ESB electricity infrastructure, trusted for its reliability and resilience. Overall, the company is investing more than €1 billion in delivering high speed, future proofed broadband across Ireland. Commenting on SIRO’s launch in Maynooth, SIRO CEO John Keaney said: “Maynooth has been hugely successfully in attracting high quality investment and jobs into the town in recent decades. Added to that its status as home to one of Ireland’s leading universities, makes having high quality, reliable and future proofed connectivity critical. “SIRO is delighted to announce the arrival of its network in Maynooth. High quality connectivity is now the foundation of how we live, work, study and engage with others. Our network provides a platform for individuals, families, communities, and businesses to do all these activities. “We are focused on delivering the highest quality of broadband services, a reliable network, and the capacity to meet data demands today, without fear of lag or downtime, but also, future demand with our 10 Gigabit capacity. Our network rollouts in Kildare towns have been hugely positive to date so we are excited to now expand to Maynooth,” added Mr. Keaney SIRO as an open access wholesaler, partners with 20 broadband retailers across Ireland, to ensure that customers and businesses enjoy greater choice and competition. Retailers offering SIRO residential or enterprise broadband products include: Digiweb, Sky, Vodafone, Fastcom, Telcom, Viatel and Pure Telecom. [lookup_modal type="eircode" button-text="Search Your Eircode Today" position="mid" title="Search Your Eircode Today"]
Additional to Virgin Media’s own network reach of 1m premises, this new partnership enables Virgin Media to offer services to over 450,000 currently enabled SIRO premises throughout Ireland, bringing further competition, value and choice to consumers and businesses nationwide. Virgin Media has today announced a network deal with SIRO whereby Virgin Media will offer a full range of services to over 450,000 currently enabled SIRO premises throughout Ireland. Virgin Media Ireland already offers 1Gbps (Gigabit per second) broadband speeds to one million premises across Virgin’s own super-fast network. Virgin Media’s expansion will further drive competition and enable ultrafast digital services by helping businesses and communities connect to Virgin’s broadband and digital TV service in many more locations across Ireland. CEO of Virgin Media, Tony Hanway said: "At Virgin Media we are always pushing the boundaries of speed and service delivery for our customers. Today’s announcement increases our network reach to 70% of all the premises in Ireland. Our new partnership with SIRO means we will be offering our market-leading ultrafast broadband and TV services to more Irish consumers and businesses than ever before.” SIRO CEO John Keaney, welcoming the agreement between SIRO and Virgin Media noted: “SIRO is an open access wholesaler rolling out full fibre broadband to 154 towns and 770,000 premises across Ireland. Our objective is to deliver our world class connectivity to communities and businesses across Ireland, while constantly bringing innovation to the broadband market.”
Thanks, hun! Penney's!” That’s the badge of honour often recited when a woman in Ireland is complimented on their outfit. Fast fashion, both in Ireland and across the world has been the norm for the last 30 years. It’s not so long ago, people wouldn’t bat an eye to doing large shopping hauls for no real cause. Now, amidst a global climate crisis, attitudes are shifting towards creating long lasting, sustainable fashion choices. A report from McKinsey stated that the number of garments created annually exceeded 100 billion for the first time in 2014, equating to 14 pieces of clothing for every person on earth created each year. And if we are honest most of us buy at lot more than that each year.

Technology, including fibre broadband, are driving the growth of the second-hand market across the globe

Technology and The Growth of Fast Fashion

Fast fashion first started around the late nineties in the United States, designed to replicate trends like those that your favourite celebrity wore, quickly and cheaply. It wasn’t long before other countries followed suit.

Then, smartphones and social media arrived and changed the face of commerce forever. Once you could order clothes online through Instagram and Facebook in 2016, fast fashion orders accelerated. As well as that, websites such as Pretty Little Thing, Shein, Missguided and Boohoo.com have become some of the trendiest fashion sites to order from today. But what if you could remain fashionable while reducing your carbon footprint? The Internet, while acting as an enabler for fast fashion, can also be a driving force for creating sustainable fashion choices. A notable example of this has been eBay, who have been around since 1995. For years, eBay has been an accessible marketplace selling pre-loved goods of all sorts, with clothes included. This year, ITV’s Love Island, ended their collaboration with fast fashion company Pretty Little Thing as their fashion sponsor, and replaced them with eBay, recognising the impact the show can have on its impressionable audience. eBay isn’t the only site dedicated to creating a circular economy. In 2016, Facebook launched Marketplace, which was established to be a direct competitor with eBay and US ad listing service, Craigslist. Facebook’s Marketplace enables people to advertise goods for sale or for free to their local community, which has proved to be a success, with over 1 billion monthly users.

In the past, ‘thrifty’ was once a positive, rather than a negative comment, in any era when people valued the cost and effort which went into producing clothing.

People’s perceptions towards fast fashion have changed in recent years. We are seeing more celebrities, influencers and young people opt to thrift clothes rather than support large fast fashion warehouses like Shein or Penney's. Thrifting is no longer confined to store-front shops. Some of the best goods can come from someone else’s wardrobe. In 2011, the concept drove the creation of Depop. Depop was established in London, as a peer to peer, social e-commerce community, where you could “like” and buy directly from the seller. Depop has grown in popularity, especially among young people. As of 2021, Depop now has over 21 million users, 90% of which are under the age of 26. Depop has proved that all you need to make more sustainable choices in fashion is a smartphone, a stable internet connection, and the drive to make some cash on your old clothes. Depop published its’ sustainability strategy in 2021, cementing its’ commitment to greener and more ethical commerce further (more here: Depop Sustainability Strategy ). SIRO also published its first sustainability strategy in 2021 (more here: SIRO Sustainability Strategy ). Key aspects include switching our fleet to electric vehicles, reducing waste in the construction of our full fibre network, and commitments to promoting diversity and inclusive practices in the workplace. With so many companies now pushing forward with sustainability commitments, it’s important to be conscious of greenwashing, including in the fashion industry. Buzzwords like “eco-friendly,” “biodegradable” and “carbon neutral” are thrown around regularly. So, it’s essential to do your research first, allowing you to shop with companies that have genuine sustainable policies and practices in place. In the past, attitudes to clothing were different. The focus was on quality and durability vs. our current throwaway culture. ‘Thrifty’ was once a positive, rather than a negative comment, in any era when people valued the cost and effort which went into producing clothing. The circular economy (though not called that back then) was often in full swing with clothing passed down through the family or precious items like wedding dresses repurposed into garments such as communion or christening outfits. Sustainable living provides an opportunity to rethink how we value clothing and to embrace being thrifty again. Technology and connectivity can now also make sustainable choices more accessible allowing consumers to shop in a more environmentally and socially equitable way. A final thought, particularly as we grapple with cost-of-living challenges, is the opportunity to make money from your pre-loved clothing, by opting to download apps that offer resale services. Technology, including fibre broadband, is driving the growth of the second-hand market across the globe. With SIRO’s 100% fibre to the premises broadband, you can manage your orders, post up your best pre-loved fashion outfits and make connections all from the comfort of your home.

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SIRO’s Employee Experience Manager and Executive Assistant to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Gillian Quigley, explores digital wellbeing apps, mental health, and the importance of staying connected. They say these days that there’s an app for everything. An app to order food or clothes, to stream your favourite shows, and even to adjust the temperature within your home. But what about an app to improve your mental health?  General wellbeing and morale over the course of the past three years has naturally dipped because of strict restrictions, lockdowns and varying levels of anxiety within society. People yearned for diverse ways to connect when the effects of loneliness in Ireland was higher than ever before. 51% of people admitted that the pandemic influenced their mental health, with loneliness in Ireland doubling in 2021, as a result. It’s completely understandable that people would begin to feel more anxious, depressed, isolated or even paranoid when uncertainty was the norm for so long.  It’s not all bad, though. On the flip side, mental health awareness is at an all-time high. This is thanks in no small part to digital health and wellbeing apps gaining in popularity, due to increased awareness campaigns by health services and influencers. In a 2021 survey by St. Patricks Mental Health Hospital, 72% of those surveyed, believe Irish society is more open to talking about mental health issues since the onset of the pandemic. Not only that, but health services have also transitioned their practices to digital platforms to improve accessibility for patients. As an Employee Experience Manager at SIRO, understanding what platforms can help your employee’s morale and general wellbeing is a key aspect of the job. For employees in Ireland, there are many corporate and individual wellbeing platforms, promising a variety of outcomes, with most offering users free programmes through their apps that cover a wide range of health aspects. Meditation, emotional intelligence and wellbeing advice, yoga, and even financial support to name but a few. Being able to manage your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing in your own time, is one of the main reasons health apps have become so popular, especially as we shift into a hybrid, digital way of living. As well as that, it can make what is usually a daunting task easier to manage, as you dip in and out of these services, at times that work for you. SIRO, like other companies provide apps to augment our support resources. However, you may choose to research, evaluate and use your own preferred option. There are many popular and affordable apps that don’t require intervention from your workplace. Some of these apps include , Calm, and Mood Tracker. These platforms allow you to track their moods to identify potentially harmful patterns, allowing them to gain general perspective, combat anxieties and practice mindfulness through meditation or mindfulness. Personally, I use physical wellbeing apps and YouTube channels to help with my mental and physical health – I find exercise a terrific way to alleviate stress and find time for my thoughts. Fitness apps can empower people to take their health into their own hands, and the same can be applied to mental and spiritual health.   It’s important to emphasise that digital wellbeing and health apps are not just a temporary fix for use during the pandemic, but something that will be become a staple for the future. In acknowledging that digital wellbeing apps are a natural progression for health services, with more services coming online each day, it’s important to ensure that your home or business is prepared for this evolution. SIRO’s fibre to the premises broadband is a ‘one size fits all’ type of connectivity that’s resilient enough to handle any video calls, heavy data uploads without a break in signal, when using cloud-based health platforms. The pandemic has shown us that connectivity matters now, more than ever before. Staying connected with your friends, family and your own self is vital to having a positive, healthy state of mind. If you or someone you know are experiencing mental health issues, please contact: www.samaritans.org or 116 123.
SIRO, the broadband network operator, has today launched its’ 100% fibre broadband network in Ballina. SIRO’s broadband network will see the company bring its’ world class connectivity to more than 3,500 premises in the town, with a €4 million investment in this essential infrastructure. SIRO’s broadband network for Ballina was officially launched by Ballina Cathaoirleach Councillor Mark Duffy, at an event in The Great National Hotel this morning. Today’s launch in Ballina follows on from SIRO’s October 2021 announcement, where SIRO outlined its plans to connect 90 additional towns and 770,000 premises across Ireland with its’ Fibre-To-The-Premise broadband by 2026. The company’s total investment in broadband infrastructure across Irish towns will exceed €1 billion to deliver its’ future-proofed, sustainable broadband infrastructure. SIRO is a joint venture broadband company between ESB and Vodafone. Since its’ establishment in 2015, SIRO, has to date, rolled out its network to 65 towns across Ireland, reaching more than 430,000 homes and businesses and almost one million people. Across Mayo and the West, SIRO has already connected tens of thousands of homes and businesses in Castlebar, Westport, Galway, and Sligo to its network. Ballina will be the latest Mayo town to receive its 100% fibre broadband. Consumers and businesses will be able to order SIRO’s broadband from September, with network roll out expected to be completed by the end of this year. The first areas in Ballina that can avail of up to 2 gigabits per second broadband include: Cluain Na Rí, The Spires, Robin Hill, Church Manor, Healy Terrace, Oakwood Drive and Brae View. SIRO’s state-of-the-art fibre broadband network is built on the ESB electricity infrastructure, trusted for its’ reliability and resilience. Richard Nolan and CBE are the contractors on the ground in Ballina working with SIRO to ‘light up’ the town with high-speed fibre broadband.
Speaking at the launch, SIRO CEO, John Keaney said: “High quality connectivity is a key enabler for economic growth, and particularly for regional towns like Ballina. The pandemic proved that work from anywhere, once there is access to reliable and future proofed broadband, is now possible. Access to high-quality connectivity is a game changer which allows regional towns to compete on an equal footing with our cities for inward investment and job creation. It’s also an important service to have available for tourists and visitors to Ballina. Since 2015, SIRO has worked to bring world-class fibre connectivity to the heart of towns across Ireland. Our objective is to ensure our fibre broadband empowers people to work and live how and where they want and businesses to access the connectivity needed to operate with ease and efficiency. We are pleased to be extending our footprint further today, by adding over 3,500 Ballina premises to our network, in addition to our existing presence in Westport and Castlebar” added Mr. Keaney.
Present at the launch, Ballina Cathaoirleach Councillor Mark Duffy added: “Over the last number of years, Ballina has benefitted hugely as people have migrated West, either moving back home and/or leaving cities for a better quality of life. Investment in fibre broadband, like SIRO’s full fibre network, will keep them in Ballina. SIRO’s network and investment helps Ballina realise its’ full potential allowing people to stay connected and ensuring they can live, work and visit the town”. SIRO’s broadband network is currently available to 430,000 homes and businesses, growing to 770,000 over the next four years. SIRO as an open access wholesaler, partners with 19 broadband retailers across Ireland, to ensure that customers and businesses enjoy greater choice and competition. Retailers available in Ballina will be: Digiweb, Sky, Vodafone, Fastcom, PureTelecom, Westnet, and Viatel. First homes and premises will be live in September. To keep up to date with our rollout plans and to be notified when your home or business in Ballina is SIRO ready, register-your-interest today.

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The concept of smart homes has been growing in popularity in recent years, with homeowners and new buyers wishing to modernise and update their homes. Findings from recent research commissioned by SIRO showed that 73% of respondents would consider themselves well informed or informed on smart homes. A smart home, in simple terms, is a home equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by smartphone or computer. Other key findings in SIRO’s recent research on smart homes included the widespread adoption of smart devices in Irish households:
  • Almost seven out of ten (67%) consumers own a smart TV;
  • Just under half (49%) of households are in possession of a virtual assistant technology like Alexa;
  • A third use smart home technology like digital heating controls and lighting; and
  • A quarter use security devices like video doorbells.
Further, two thirds (63%) of respondents believe that the energy saving, and environmental benefits are the most important factors of smart homes. Smart devices and appliances designed for homes are constantly evolving, and in the next few years we will start to see even more innovative smart devices coming to the market. SIRO’s research points to the fact that smart technology in the home, in some format, is almost standard now. This suggests that although awareness of smart home technology may be becoming ubiquitous; increasingly all aspects of the home will be smart-ified from kitchen appliances, to heating and lighting systems to windows and home security devices. However, a key aspect homeowners will need to be aware of is the challenge of interoperability between different devices. Many looking to invest in multiple smart devices may not be aware of the challenges that come with various devices trying to connect with one another when they are produced by different companies and developed in different ways. Some companies such as Bluetooth with their ‘Bluetooth mesh networking system,’ have already been making efforts to advance the standardisation of device control systems. Addressing this challenge and finding solutions to it will be essential to ensuring smart homes can function seamlessly. For now, it remains a case of a lot done, a lot more to do.... Management of the home A key benefit of having a smart home is being able to manage your smart tech from one device (usually your mobile phone) and from the one place. This means you can remotely manage all aspects of your home from the comfort of your couch, simply at the press of a button. Smart devices designed to aid cleaning the house such as robot vacuums like the iRobot Roomba, are just one example of a new era of domestic convenience. These vacuums are controlled by apps or your voice controls and can clean any part of the home desired, without the householder having to lift a finger. Cooking for the family or a large group can often be a stressful part of the day for many. Here too, smart technology companies are starting to deploy smart devices to lend a helping hand. U.S. tech company, Nvidia, has been developing a robotic arm, which will assist with the chopping and dicing up of food, making cooking that bit easier. roomba-smart-home Sustainability Consumers are far more environmentally conscious nowadays, looking to purchase a product or service that is sustainable. The same goes with buying a home. Again, smart tech can make home living more sustainable (and more affordable). Lights can be controlled to be turned on and off at various times with the use of Smart LED bulbs, saving energy. Smart showers are another example, that will soon become the norm in our bathrooms. These, not only help conserve water by allowing you to set a limit on the duration of shower, but they can also create the ideal shower experience, depending on personal preferences. You can adjust the temperature, flow of water and more all via a mobile device or voice control.  

smart-home-light-control

Security, Comfort and Well-being A major benefit of having a smart home is that by using smart security technology, your home’s safety and security can be enhanced, particularly while you are away from the home. Smart homes enable you to connect any of your mobile devices to access surveillance footage and cameras live from your home from anywhere you may be. You could be at your workplace or out running errands and will be notified if there is any motion detected or unusual activity at your house. Safety features such as smart locks are also growing in popularity. These enable you to manage the windows and doors of the house digitally, giving you control of when they open and close, ensuring further safety and security. smart-home-security The prevalence of smart home tech runs parallel to increasing access to fast and reliable fibre broadband, particularly, the rapidly improving in-home Wi-Fi experience. With one linked to the other, its’ no surprise that as our connectivity continues to be enhanced in the home, the upward trajectory of smart home technology will closely follow. To find out if SIRO 100% fibre broadband is available to our home, search your eircode today.

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SIRO, the fibre broadband wholesaler and joint venture between ESB and Vodafone, today launched a new €4 million fibre broadband network in Longford town. SIRO’s network roll-out will make high speed, reliable fibre broadband available to more than more than 4,000 premises in the town. The network was officially launched by Minister for State for Local Government and Planning, and Longford-Westmeath TD, Peter Burke in the Longford Arms Hotel. The announcement follows on from SIRO’s launch of their national network expansion in October 2021, where the company confirmed that a further 90 new towns, including Longford town, would receive its’ 100% fibre-to-the-premises broadband. This is in addition to the existing 64 towns already connected to SIRO’s network, including the midland towns of Mullingar, Athlone and Portlaoise. Currently, SIRO’s broadband network is available to 430, 000 homes and businesses, growing to 770,000 over the next four years. SIRO’s state-of-the-art fibre broadband network is built on the ESB electricity infrastructure, trusted for its’ reliability and resilience. 3,000 premises in Longford town can avail of SIRO’s fibre broadband network by the end of 2022, with the network to reach over 4,000. SIRO’s overall investment in Longford town will represents a €4 million by the company. TLI is the contractor on the ground in Longford working with SIRO to ‘light up’ the town with high-speed fibre broadband. Some of the first areas in Longford town that can avail of SIRO’s gigabit broadband are Dublin Street, Chapel Lane, Ballymahon Street, College Park, Canal Close, Harbour View, Fairgreen View, Farneyhoogan, Railway Meadow, and Western Park. Having a reliable internet connection is now an essential utility, as important electricity or gas. Research commissioned by SIRO earlier this year found that connectivity is also a key consideration when people are choosing where to live. The research found that 53% of under 35’s rank broadband as the most important factor when choosing a home. SIRO’s fibre connectivity is the last connection a home or business in Longford town will ever need, as its gigabit speeds are scalable and future-proofed for future demand – up to 25 Gigabits. SIRO as an open access wholesaler, partners with 19 broadband retailers across Ireland, to ensure that customers and businesses enjoy greater choice and competition. CEO of SIRO John Keaney, commented: “Connectivity is an enabler of growth for communities and towns within Ireland, and we are delighted to provide Longford town with a robust, reliable connection that can serve the people and businesses of the town for years to come. Since the pandemic, people have begun to recognise the value that a dependable, fibre connection can add to one’s way of life or business. With SIRO’s gigabit broadband, you can work anytime, and anywhere, stay connected to family and friends or live stream videos or gaming without any lag or downtime. More than 4,000 homes and businesses in Longford town will be able to access SIRO’s fibre broadband network, giving these premises a 100% fibre connection, which supports working from home and more lived-in, sustainable communities vs. commuter towns. SIRO’s fibre broadband will also attract further investment to the town and support local business to grow and develop particularly through greater use of digital technologies.” Minister of State for Planning and Government Peter Burke and TD for Longford-Westmeath stated: “This investment represents a significant gain for the people and businesses of Longford who can now access 100% fibre to meet the immense demand we all have for connectivity these days, whether this is for educational, leisure or business purposes. It is a key commitment of this Government to achieve balanced regional development with emphasis on growth outside of Dublin. High-speed broadband facilitated by SIRO will enable Longford businesses to maintain a level playing field and will act as another great reason to attract jobs and opportunities to Longford and the wider Midlands region. I congratulate SIRO on their expansion and look forward to seeing more and more locals reap the benefits of this fantastic service” To keep up to date with our rollout plans and to be notified when your home or business in Longford is SIRO ready, register-your-interest today.

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