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Carrick-On-Shannon To Benefit From SIRO Full Fibre Broadband Roll Out

Today we are delighted to announce we will be expanding our network to Leitrim during 2023. Carrick-on-Shannon is the latest town to benefit from our full fibre network. The roll out will include over 1,800 homes and businesses in Carrick-on-Shannon as part of our full fibre broadband roll out to Leitrim. The build works commenced in April of this year, with the rollout of the area expected to complete in Q4 2023. [caption id="attachment_8218" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]SIRO representatives pictured with members of Carrick on Shannon Town Committee and Leitrim County Council officials. SIRO representatives pictured with members of Carrick on Shannon Town Committee and Leitrim County Council officials.[/caption]

Where is SIRO rolling out to in Carrick-on-Shannon?

Areas within Carrick-on-Shannon that will be covered under our 100% fibre roll out include (but are not limited to): Oaklands Manor, Cara Court, Autumn View, Summerhill Grove, Glenpatrick, Shannon View, Shannon Lodge, Cnoc na Sí, Marina Road, Elysian Meadows, Ath na Rí, Maigh Glas. The roll-out of a full fibre broadband network in Carrick on Shannon is part of our ongoing network expansion, targeting 770,000 premises in 154 towns and cities across Ireland. To date, over 490,000 premises in 126 towns across the country can access the SIRO network. [caption id="attachment_8219" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Pictured President of Carrick on Shannon Chamber of Commerce Colm McGrath and SIRO Director of Corporate Affairs Amanda Glancy. Pictured President of Carrick on Shannon Chamber of Commerce Colm McGrath and SIRO Director of Corporate Affairs Amanda Glancy.[/caption]

Who can I order SIRO Broadband with?

Homes and businesses can order SIRO 100% fibre broadband from our network of retailers, including Vodafone, Airwire, Sky, Pure Telecom, Digiweb, Viatel, Blacknight, Fastcom and Telcom. SIRO 100% fibre is available to both homes and businesses within Carrick-on-Shannon, with speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second available for homes in the area, and up to 10 gigabits for enterprise connections. SIRO, founded back in 2015, is a joint venture company between ESB and Vodafone, focused on delivering full fibre broadband to Ireland’s towns and cities. SIRO’s fibre broadband network is built on the ESB electricity infrastructure, trusted for its reliability and resilience. Commenting on the announcement, SIRO CEO, John Keaney, said:
Today’s announcement for Carrick-on-Shannon is part of SIRO’s wider efforts to bring resilient, scalable, fibre broadband to towns across Ireland. We are pleased to be expanding our network to reach Leitrim’s County town as part of our ongoing network expansion. “At SIRO, we understand both the need and huge demand for fast and high-quality broadband for homes and businesses today. Having access to reliable connectivity enables Carrick-on-Shannon to become a more attractive place to live and work.”With SIRO’s broadband network available in Carrick-on Shannon, residents and businesses will have access to one of Europe’s most advanced and future proofed networks. It will   facilitate hybrid working for employees, reducing the need for unsustainable commutes to larger towns and cities. “For employers they can use cloud and digital technologies for the smooth running of their company networks. Local businesses will be able to thrive as faster and seamless online payments and orders, such as in the hospitality sector, can be smoothly facilitated.”
Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, Councillor Ita Reynolds Flynn, stated:
“I am delighted to see this announcement today that SIRO are rolling out Fibre Broadband in Carrick on Shannon ensuring a 100% fibre connection to over 1800 homes and businesses in the area. The local authority welcome the SIRO installation as it will have significant economic benefits for the area supporting faster and seamless connectivity as well as giving confidence to businesses in their use of digital technologies and supporting their company networks and hybrid working opportunities.”
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[caption id="attachment_7972" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Director of The Cube, Caroline Hofman Director of The Cube, Caroline Hofman[/caption]   Thursday, 30th March 2023 saw the official opening of the GigaBitHub, The CUBE, by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney. The 10,000 square foot Low Carbon Centre of Excellence is a dedicated centre for the development of new business and economic activity. It’s goal is to support and assist a transition to a low carbon economy for County Laois.   Portlaoise Town has been designated as Ireland’s first ‘Low Carbon Town’ which will serve as a roadmap for the development and rollout of similar low carbon initiatives in other towns around the Country.   This low carbon facility is the first of its kind in the region and is located in the heart of Portlaoise’s Cultural Quarter. It will support and stimulate the development of enterprise and jobs in Laois and the Midlands region.   The CUBE is funded by Enterprise Ireland under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. The project pivots around Government plans and strategic directions, including Project Ireland 2040, the Climate Action Plan to tackle Climate breakdown, and the Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan to 2024.  The Cube is the 18th GigaBitHub to be announced under SIRO and Vodafone’s GigaBitHub initiative and is the first to open under its second phase.   [caption id="attachment_7971" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] L-R, SIRO Corporate Affairs Director, Amanda Glancy, Charlie Collins, Senior Strategic Partner, VF Business, John Keaney, SIRO CEO, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, Public Sector Account Executive, Ryan Brophy  Lisa Corcoran, Head of SME Business, Vodafone Business Ireland[/caption] Present at the launch included: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Conveney, Minister of State for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Thomasina Connell, SIRO CEO, John Keaney, Cube Tenants, including FRS Recruitment, WrkWrk, and, Laois County Council CEO, John Mullholland, Enterprise Ireland Divisional Manager, Carol Gibbins, and Head of SME Business at Vodafone Business Ireland, Lisa Corcoran.   [caption id="attachment_7970" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] L-R, Minister of State for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett and Corporate Affairs Director at SIRO, Amanda Glancy[/caption] Speaking on the announcement, the following comments were made:  Speaking at the opening Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney TD said:  
“I am delighted be here today to officially open the CUBE in Portlaoise, Ireland’s first ‘low-carbon’ town. This remarkable state-of-the art facility, will play a central role in enabling the growth of scaling enterprises across the Midlands and further afield, supporting this critical agenda to reduce energy consumption.   The opening of the CUBE, supported by over €2m in funding from my Department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund, will see the positive contribution by low carbon businesses to economic prosperity in the long-term and I believe will serve as a roadmap for the development and rollout of similar low carbon initiatives in other towns around the country.” 
[caption id="attachment_7969" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] L-R SIRO CEO John Keaney, Head of SME Business, Lisa Corcoran, Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Thomasina Connell, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, Divisional Manager & Head of Regions and Local Enterprise, Enterprise Ireland, Carol Gibbins, and Director of The Cube, Caroline Hofman[/caption] Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Thomasina Connell added: 
"Not only will the centre provide support and assist businesses in the transition to a low carbon economy, but it will greatly assist the local community in their efforts to address energy consumption and retrofitting.” 
Commenting on the announcement, SIRO CEO, John Keaney, said: 
“The SIRO-Vodafone GigaBitHub Initiative has connected 18 hubs to date.  “The Cube” is the first GigaBitHub of its kind with a commitment to driving sustainability within its local and regional communities. We’re excited to support “The Cube” in its goal to help Ireland’s journey to carbon neutrality.   It resonates with SIRO’s mission to be Ireland’s greenest broadband network, as SIRO’s full fibre network is inherently more sustainable, requiring less energy and maintenance when compared to copper or cable networks. We’re delighted to support The Cube in its mission in making Portlaoise a low-carbon town."
Sinéad Bryan, Managing Director of Vodafone Business Ireland, added: 
"The Gigabit Hub Initiative was created in order to empower local businesses and communities through connectivity. This connectivity means the people of Laois can benefit from a better work life balance and allow them to pursue their careers within the area they are from, without sacrificing their quality of life or being forced to move to cities or abroad.” 
SIRO is now accepting applications for GigaBitHub applications within our network footprint. For more information, please visit 
Rebecca Hurst SIRO sustainability specialist The internet probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of sustainability. Instead, you might picture smokestacks, polluting factories, or open pit mines. However, the infrastructure operated to provide broadband requires electricity to power active network equipment and data storage facilities.   Information and communications technology (ICT) is one of the fastest growing greenhouse gas emitting sectors, accounting for 3-5% of global emissions (European Commission 2022), which is on par with the aviation sector. The challenge of the growing energy needs of the ICT sector is being tackled by major companies setting ambitious targets. Microsoft has set a target to be carbon negative by 2030, and Intel have committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2030.  

The role of SMEs in Ireland’s Sustainable Development

We can’t leave it all up to the world’s biggest companies, however. With market pressures, we see big companies turn on a dime and roll back their previously ambitious targets. BP’s profits doubled in 2022, yet the oil and gas company reduced its emissions reduction target for 2030 down to 20-30% from its previous 35-40% target (Reuters). This is where the role of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) comes in.    SMEs are businesses with less than 250 employees. In 2020, Ireland’s SMEs accounted for 99.8% of the total number of enterprises and generated 41.9% of total turnover in the business economy (Irish SME Association). Given their critical contribution to the economy, SMEs are perfectly placed to be sustainability vanguards.   Being small gives SMEs the advantage of agility, with the flexibility to make decisions and implement meaningful changes quickly. SMEs can have a higher exposure to sustainability-related risks compared to larger companies due to their limited influence over supply chain risks and smaller cash reserves. But they also stand to gain more, with the benefits of integrating sustainability as a core value being very clear.   From cost savings and improved efficiencies to higher employee engagement and satisfaction, improved reputation and increased consumer satisfaction, SMEs with a clear sustainability strategy can obtain competitive advantages.   [caption id="attachment_7906" align="aligncenter" width="702"]siro sustainability siro sustainability[/caption]

How Sustainability is a Driver of Innovation for SMEs

SIRO is an SME, and with that there are additional challenges for certain sustainability initiatives due to fewer resources and reduced internal capacity. However, these same conditions can also make SMEs fertile ground for innovation.   Sustainable innovation differs from traditional innovation due to the equal balance given to economic, environmental, and social considerations. Sustainable innovation improves the sustainability performance of a business while simultaneously minimising its impact.   It is becoming increasingly important that SMEs recognise the importance of sustainable innovation as a driver in differentiating their products and services, as this will ultimately improve the company’s prospects in the market. Driven by social changes and cutting-edge technology, sustainable innovation in SMEs can be quickly investigated and adopted given the short pipeline between employees and decision-makers.   Sustainability in innovation benefits everyone. For SMEs, innovation enhances their competitive edge leading to enhanced market opportunities and in turn increasing their business’ resilience (which further increases the business’ sustainability and so on). On the other hand, as products and services continue to improve, this positively impacts on consumers’ social and economic development. Digital technology is a particularly important driver for sustainable innovation, as well as an enabler for innovations that contribute to social and economic challenges.   For example, as SIRO’s network grows, access to fibre to the home broadband  is made available to many homes and small businesses that were previously not serviced, opening digital transformation opportunities for these communities.  

Building Resilient, Reliable, And Sustainable Infrastructure

SIRO is committed to providing broadband connectivity to as many people across Ireland as possible, while improving the sustainability of our infrastructure at the same time.   SIRO’s network is being built using ESB’s existing infrastructure, limiting our footprint, and removing excessive resource consumption at the design stage. Continuous innovations in fibre to the home technology increasingly contribute to a sustainable broadband future.  SIRO is deploying an XGS-PON fibre network, technology that supports high-speed 10 gigabit per second data transfers. By delivering this now, we can avoid a future upgrade cycle, eliminating unnecessary waste and materials.   We have embedded a future-proof approach through the delivery of XGS-PON, which also provides higher bandwidth with lower energy consumption requirements. Sustainability goes beyond just the physical footprint and environmental impact of an organisation’s infrastructure however, encompassing the three pillars of environment, social and governance.  By deploying XGS-PON we are providing greater reliability for our communities due to the absence of active network elements, improving access and affordability in an equitable way.   siro sustainability

Opportunities For SMEs To Pursue Sustainability

The limited internal capacity and resources available to SMEs doesn’t prevent action on sustainability, but it does require a targeted approach. You can’t boil the ocean. Instead of trying to act on everything, reflect on the business’ priorities by identifying what topics matter most to your stakeholders and where your business stands to make the greatest impact. A materiality assessment is a great tool to use to begin this process.   Once you know what matters, select a limited number of meaningful goals to track your progress against, rather than spreading your resources too thin. For example, SIRO has a “Science-Based Target” which provides an option for SMEs to set an emissions reduction target that is in line with what climate science deems necessary. Finally, by focusing on transformative change and collaboration with peers, SMEs can be on the frontlines of sustainability.   SMEs cannot afford to be unsustainable, with greater exposure to sustainability-related risks due to their size and reduced resilience compared to larger companies. Sustainability-driven innovation provides a key opportunity for SMEs to differentiate their products and services. Going further than just being value-adding, sustainability can be harnessed by SMEs to access new markets, improve consumer confidence, increase employee engagement and satisfaction, and attract and retain talent.  [lookup_modal type="eircode" button-text="Search Your Eircode Today" position="mid" title="Input your Eircode to check whether SIRO is available at your location"]
Broadband is an essential part of our everyday lives. It allows us to connect with friends, to work from home and to relax with our smart devices. With so much information out there about broadband, it can be confusing to know which internet connection is best for your needs. You might be thinking what kind of broadband can I get? Fibre broadband in Ireland has been around since 2015. Read on to learn five facts about fibre you may not have known.

1 The first national 100% fibre broadband network

The first 100% fibre to the home broadband network in Ireland was launched by SIRO back in 2015. SIRO, in a joint venture between ESB and Vodafone, had the aim of delivering the first fibre to the home network in Ireland, disrupting the then copper dominated broadband market.

2. Growth of fibre network reach across Ireland

Have you ever wondered; can I get fibre broadband where I live? SIRO is now live in more than 90 towns and counting, with an aim to connect 154 towns by 2026, so SIRO’s network footprint may already or soon be available for your home or business soon. As well as this, the fibre broadband market share is growing, with Comreg’s Q3 2022 report showing there were 463k FTTP subscriptions, compared to just 340k FTTP subscriptions in Q3 2021. teacher using an ipad to teach children SIRO

3. Speed capabilities

Did you know SIRO was one of the first broadband networks in Europe to fully upgrade to XGS-PON technology, unlocking speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second. One of the main benefits of having fibre broadband is being able to connect as many devices as you need at a time, without delays or lags. This is ideal for working from home, or to facilitate the day to day running of a business… You will no longer be asking yourself why is my broadband so slow?

4. Lowest latency on the market

Latency measures the length of time it takes to transfer data from one source to another. SIRO’s fibre broadband boasts some of the lowest latency on the market, with a ping of 20 milliseconds. This makes it perfect for online gaming, streaming in 4k and 8k, and video calls. Low latency allows you to stay connected and to download files and applications quickly. storm proof broadband SIRO

5. Weather resistant broadband

Can weather affect fibre optic broadband? Many are under the assumption that their broadband can be affected by stormy weather. Thankfully, this isn’t a worry for those who have a SIRO fibre broadband connection. Fibre is much more weather proofed than other broadband types on the market. Fibre makes use of light to transmit data contrary to copper, which is more vulnerable to storms and other climate impacts. Fibre in Ireland is here to stay. SIRO is rolling out the next generation of broadband in Ireland across 154 towns. It’s resiliency, speeds and reliability are unmatched. With the above in mind, the next step is to find out if SIRO’s 100% fibre broadband is available to your home or business. [lookup_modal type="eircode" button-text="Search Your Eircode Today" position="mid" title="Input your Eircode to check whether SIRO is available at your location"]
SIRO Ireland · Shannonside FM Roscommon Announcement
SIRO, the fibre broadband network operator, has today announced the roll out of its broadband network in Roscommon town. The build works commenced in autumn last year. The company has confirmed that significant progress has already made in its delivery of the new network, with almost 70% of the project now complete. The company is investing €3 million in bringing Ireland’s most advanced broadband network to the town.  

When is SIRO coming to Roscommon?

SIRO is rolling out its high speed, reliable fibre broadband network to 2,350 homes and businesses in the town overall.  Build works for a majority of the premises targeted, (1,600 premises), are already completed and the new broadband service is now available to order. The remaining 750 premises in the town are expected to be completed during Spring 2023. 

Where is SIRO rolling out to in Roscommon Town?

Areas within Roscommon set to benefit from the roll out include Main Street, Riverdale, Lanesborough Street, Saint Ciaran’s Park, Pine View, Castle Street, Sunny Side House, Cherry Drive, Castle Apartments, Knights Court, Celtic Avenue, Cloonbrackna, Brookvale Avenue, and Lús Leana.  Homes and businesses can now order SIRO’s fibre broadband from its network of retailers, including Vodafone, Sky, Airwire, Pure Telecom, Digiweb, Fastcom and Viatel.  SIRO’s full fibre network is available to both homes and businesses within Roscommon town, with speeds of up to 2 gigabit per second available for homes, and up to 10 gigabits for enterprise connections.  SIRO birds eye view of Roscommon Town on a sunny day, with Roscommon Castle in the foreground and town in the background.

What is SIRO broadband? 

SIRO is a joint venture company between ESB and Vodafone, founded in 2015, focused on delivering full fibre broadband to Ireland’s towns and cities. SIRO’s 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. 

How Broadband Supports A Community

Commenting on the announcement, SIRO Chief Executive Officer, John Keaney, said:  
“SIRO has one of the most advanced fibre broadband networks in Europe, so we are really pleased to be bringing this network to Roscommon town.  “Individuals and businesses are all too aware of the value of a reliable and resilient broadband connection. It allows them to stay connected at home or when running their businesses, removing what can be a major pain point in daily life if their existing broadband is poor.  “Fibre broadband can have a transformative effect on regional towns. By providing a scalable, future-proofed and sustainable fibre network, it re-enforces Roscommon town’s attractiveness as a place to live, work and do business,” added Mr. Keaney.    
Shane Tiernan Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council stated:  
 “This multi-million-euro investment and delivery of full fibre broadband by SIRO in Roscommon town is to be congratulated and welcomed. High speed reliable digital connectivity is an essential requirement to allow Roscommon town to flourish commercially, economically and socially.    The availability of SIRO’s full fibre broadband infrastructure greatly supports Roscommon County Council’s ambition for the development of an innovative collaborative digital society and economy in Roscommon over the coming years. This advancement by SIRO will undoubtedly have a very positive impact in supporting our constant drive for Roscommon to be a great place to live, work, invest in and visit”, added Mr. Tiernan.  
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SIRO, the broadband network operator, has today announced it has rolled out its full fibre broadband network in Enfield. SIRO’s broadband will bring world class connectivity to 1,000 homes and businesses in Enfield. Areas in the town set to benefit from SIRO’s roll out include (but are not limited to): Glen Abhainn Green, Glen Abhainn Lawns, Blackwater Close, Newcastle Woods Crescent, Delmere, The Drive, New Road, New Inn, The Park, The View, The Close, Royal Canal Walk, and Moyfenrath. 860 homes and businesses, (with work underway to complete the remaining 140 premises), are now able to order SIRO from its network of retailers, including Sky, Pure Telecom, Digiweb, Viatel and Fastcom. SIRO’s roll-out of a full fibre broadband network in Enfield is part of the company’s ongoing network expansion, targeting 770,000 premises in 154 towns and cities across Ireland. To date, over 460,000 premises can access SIRO’s network. SIRO’s full fibre network is available to both homes and businesses within Enfield, with speeds of up to 2 gigabit per second available for residences, and up to 10 gigabits for enterprise connections. Enfield is the 11th Meath town to join SIRO’s fibre broadband network. To date, over 28,000 Meath premises across Navan, Trim, Rathoath, Ashbourne, Bettystown, Dunshaughlin, Mornington, Stamullen, Dunboyne, and Laytown can avail of SIRO’s broadband. map of meath with SIRO towns SIRO is a joint venture company between ESB and Vodafone, founded in 2015. SIRO’s 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 the announcement, SIRO’s CEO, John Keaney, said:
Today’s announcement on Enfield is part of SIRO’s wider efforts to bring resilient, scalable, fibre broadband to Meath. When we first announced a €20 million investment in Meath in 2019, it was to connect 21,000 homes across eight towns. Now, we have 28,000 homes and businesses in 11 Meath towns passed with full fibre; invested €30 million to date in the county; and are working to bring full fibre broadband to additional Meath towns. “We are excited to continue our roll out in Meath, as SIRO’s robust full fibre broadband network enriches the infrastructure in towns like Enfield. Reliable connectivity means that Enfield can be a town where people both live and work - allowing people to work from home, local entrepreneurs to run their businesses from here or to attract inward investment and drive job creation.”
SIRO is now available to order in Enfield. Check your Eircode here to see if your home is SIRO-ready.

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gillian-scally With one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday, fast approaching, it’s time to start researching where to shop online and how to get the best deals. Black Friday, once a US tradition, now a global phenomenon is where deal-savvy customers piled into shopping malls after Thanksgiving ready to buy discounted goods for Christmas. Now, in Ireland, it’s certainly on consumers’ minds. RTE noted that Google searches for "Black Friday" had increased by 138% from 2020 to 2021. Online shopping is set to receive a massive boost throughout the day, as according to a study by AIB last year, Irish consumers were poised to spend more than €25,000 a minute, during Black Friday sales online. Naturally in recent years there’s been a shift from in-store shopping to online, as the pandemic dictated when we could shop indoors. A 2021 study by Statista highlighted that 87% of UK buyers preferred to do their shopping online. The same survey showed that only 17% would rather do their Black Friday buying in person. Online shopping in general, has become a part of shopper’s daily lives, and Black Friday is no exception. A reliable broadband connection is necessary if you’re going to check out with the latest deals. Are you on the fence about participating in Black Friday this year? Or whether online shopping is your thing? Here’s some of the reasons why the sales might be for you.


One of the major benefits of shopping online is being able to purchase your favourite items from the comfort of your home. You could be multitasking, one hand on the remote watching TV, the other scrolling through your favourite clothing brand. Opting to shop online means you don’t have to consider weather conditions, travel time, wait time etc. As well as that, it allows for more flexibility to suit your schedule, such as purchasing during your lunch break from work or during a quiet moment that suits while you’re on break. Studies from AIB in 2021 showed that the busiest time for shopping on Black Friday last year was between 11am and 12pm, due to people purchasing online during work hours. A US Study by Drive Research found that 41% of shoppers did not want to shop in person/in stores on Black Friday due to the long queues and over 60% did not want to shop because of large crowds. Large crowds in a post-covid world are a good reason not to traverse the high street, if your health is at risk. Online shopping may not only be convenient but the safer option for many, too. parcel delivery

Greater Variety

Shopping online provides a greater variety of choice and access to international brands and websites. There may be more sizes available online, more selection available, and more discounts. Additionally, you can look at the various brands and their price points to compare and to get the best deal for yourself. Another benefit is that you can view all the reviews of certain products and get more information about products than you could in store. At SIRO, we understand the value of variety. As a wholesale operator with 20 retailers, we understand the power that providing choice to our customers brings. Competition allows the customer to get the best price possible, without compromising on quality. However, with shopping online, there is the topic of sustainability, and how it can affect your carbon footprint.


Sustainability is a major consideration for consumers. It’s no secret that shopping, either online or in person, can impact your carbon footprint. However, there are steps you can take to minimize this. By shopping online, you can view different brands websites which contains key information on whether their products are cruelty free, their returns policy, their efforts to use recycled packaging etc. By having information, you can then make an informed decision on which brands to purchase from and choose the most eco-friendly option for delivery. Recent studies by DataReportal highlighted that the reason 19% of people surveyed shop online, is due to knowing the product or company is eco-friendly. Online shopping also can reduce a consumer’s carbon footprint. Instead of driving to a physical store, you are staying at home and making the purchase. This year is likely to be a bumper year for Black Friday shopping, with increased inflation and higher costs of living, consumers will be online looking for bargains. To get ahead of the competition and ensure you don’t get frozen out on the many deals on the day, choose SIRO’s 100% fibre broadband for your Black Friday experience. To find out whether SIRO’s high speed broadband is available to your home to assist you with your online purchases, search your Eircode here

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Barry has spent over thirty-five years working in ICT. He started as a Trainee Programmer in the Northern Ireland Civil Service and progressed through various roles to eventually become the Director of ICT Shared Services and Strategy for the NI Government. Barry has been CIO for the Irish Government since April 2016 with the primary task of taking forward the Public Service ICT and eGovernment Strategies. These set out ambitions for developing the use of shared services, digital services and data to better serve the people of Ireland and ensure that Ireland is well-placed to benefit from European initiatives such as the Digital Single Market.

Tell us about your role?

The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) leads the digital agenda across Government, working in collaboration with organisations across the Civil and Public Service. OGCIO’s most recent Strategy, Connecting Government 2030: A Digital and ICT Strategy for Ireland’s Public Service, sets out the Government’s Digital Vision for the next several years, covering areas such as digital ambition, talent development, and inclusion. OGCIO is also involved in the delivery of major Government technical projects such as the Contact Tracing App and Digital COVID certificate, and a range of shared initiatives and systems. OGCIO participates in a range of internal, national and international working groups, steering and programme boards; has significant engagement with multilateral institutions including the OECD, UN and in particular the EU; and also plays a leadership role on innovation across the Public Service including through the development and application of a range of ICT policies.  

Outline the role digital technologies play delivering public service today.

As the Government Chief Information Officer, I am the most senior advisor to the Government on all matters digital with specific reporting responsibilities to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and the Junior Minister for eGovernment and Procurement. I played a prominent role in the development of the National Digital Strategy, Harnessing Digital – The Digital Ireland Framework, which was published in February and sets out a high-level pathway to support Ireland’s ambition to be a digital leader at the heart of European and global digital developments. I also represent Ireland at many high-level meetings at EU and OECD level seeking to shape the digital agendas of these organisations; and I am involved in the leadership of many programmes with a substantial digital or ICT element, for example, MyGovID, Open Data, the Data Sharing & Governance Act, the Contact Tracing App, and the Vaccination roll-out.  

What are the key benefits that digital technologies can bring to society and business?

At public service level, we believe that digital can benefit all of society. We can facilitate those who are comfortable with digital technology to renew their driving licence, or make a tax enquiry, for example, with the same ease as booking an airline ticket or making a banking transaction. However, we also believe that if we achieve our goal of 90% of our most used services being consumed online then this will free up resources to better serve those who are unable to use the digital offerings.  

At community level we see the benefit of having more community-driven digital initiatives from group learning to accessing the technology itself.”

  We believe that the ability to do anything from the home shouldn’t detract from the importance of socialising and maintaining the value of communities in our lives. This is why many government digital initiatives, including broadband roll-out and digital hubs, are community-oriented.”  

As connectivity improves across Ireland, what do you see as the big opportunities for Irish businesses from accelerated digital adaptation?

I think we all accept that going online can and does bring advantages to businesses, e.g., lower operating costs, 24/7 presence and greater out-reach. However, CSO research tells us that, while more than four in five Irish-based businesses have a website, only 40 per cent actually sell online. This means that there is an opportunity not just for businesses but also for national reputation and GDP growth. This is why the Harnessing Digital strategy sets challenging business targets for 2030 such as 75% enterprise take-up of Cloud, Big Data and AI; and 90% of SMEs at basic digital intensity. It also makes financial and advisory support commitments to help this to be achieved.  

“It is very clear that the pandemic has opened up new commercial opportunities and these should be exploited. Ireland’s acceleration towards full and fast connectivity will provide a strong foundation to build upon.”


For businesses to maximise benefits from digital technologies, what key advice would you give?

I could write pages on this but will stick to three things. First, it all has to start with the customer. As (even) Steve Jobs famously said “'You've got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.” In Government, we have learned a lot from consulting our customers and from our research work with Trinity Business School. Again, the pandemic experience proved that the public will gladly use Digital Government services that are simple, intuitive and customer focused. Then, the service has to be built with privacy and security at the centre. Thankfully in Ireland we have several excellent security companies that can help with this. Alternatively, examine cloud-based approaches to benefit from the security and support skills of the experts who are doing this stuff every day. Finally, ensure you have built in a feedback loop to help you understand how the service is really working and to rectify teething problems.   Looking to take your business to the next level with a reliable broadband connection? Search Your Eircode today.

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JOHN KEANEY SIRO 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.   connection between two computers SIRO 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. team working on a project together SIRO 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
Aoife O'Reilly SIRO 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.  teacher using an ipad to teach children SIRO 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.  student using a laptop to study SIRO 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!