COVID-19 Lockdown – One-Month Look Back

SIRO – Connectivity for When You Need Us Most.

Monday, April 13th marks 1 month since the first COVID-19 restrictions were announced in Ireland. Our world has changed dramatically. As Ireland’s busiest towns and cities went into lockdown, hundreds of thousands of people have been working from home, educating children, staying in touch and keeping entertained on various online platforms. Up to 30% more people are reported to be using broadband since the beginning of the lockdown period (Irish Examiner)

Broadband is designated as ‘essential services’, and connectivity is crucial in this unprecedented time. As part of our pledge to keep Ireland connected during COVID-19, we have continued to roll out the SIRO network across the country, and have introduced strict measures for our build and installation process. As of April 2020, SIRO fibre broadband is available in 320,000 homes and businesses all over Ireland, 61,000 of them already connected to SIRO. Our Installation team completed more than 2600 appointments in March – that’s another 2600 households and businesses that can benefit from life-changing 100% fibre broadband in this critical time. We have made it our priority to connect front-line workers and essential services workers to the network so that they can perform their duties in keeping Ireland running.

No Impact of Lockdown on Network Capacity

SIRO is Ireland’s first and remains the only 100% fibre-to-the-home network. Fibre-optic cables are brought to your home via the existing ESB infrastructure with no copper at any point in the network. This significantly improves speeds and reduces congestion, as pure fibre cables have much better bandwidth and are much less prone to congestion than copper wires.

Since the restrictions were first implemented on Friday 13 March, we have seen no impact of the lockdown on the SIRO network. There has been a steady but stable increase in daily average data consumption across the network – 23% between 12-31 March.

With people doing most of their activities online, it comes as no surprise that consumption patterns have changed since 13 March. The graphs below outlines the pattern of data demand before and during lockdown: the biggest increase can be seen during the morning hours well into the afternoon compared to the pre-lockdown period.

Data consumption also varies by tows. The busiest towns on the SIRO network are Cork, Limerick and Blanchardstown, followed by Drogheda and Newbridge.

In a nutshell, life has changed significantly for all of us over the past month, and as an organisation we have had to adjust given the ongoing developments of COVID-19. Despite all these changes, we can assure you that one thing remains constant: the essential connectivity SIRO provides will continue to stay strong and stay in place, so we can play our part in keeping the people of Ireland connected throughout this difficult time.