An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White TD today unveiled SIRO.
The new brand of ESB and Vodafone Ireland’s fibre broadband joint venture company.
As part of the launch, Enda Kenny TD revealed that SIRO will employ 60 people, and a further 200 construction jobs will be supported across Ireland as part of the rollout of the network.
SIRO, derived from Sirius the brightest star in the night sky, is set to light up Ireland’s communications landscape when it delivers the most powerful network in the country, unlike any other broadband infrastructure in Ireland.
SIRO is investing €450 million in building Ireland’s first 100% fibre-to-the-building broadband network, offering speeds from 200 Mbps to 1000 Mbps to 500,000 premises in fifty regional towns, revolutionising the broadband market in Ireland. SIRO is not a retail product.
SIRO is unique in that it exclusively offers a wholesale open access network meaning that it will be available to all telecoms operators in Ireland to resell to their customers.
The first ten locations, dubbed Ireland’s first Gigabit towns or “fibrehoods”, to be included in SIRO’s roll-out are Cavan, Dundalk, Westport, Castlebar, Sligo, Carrigaline, Tralee, Navan, Letterkenny and Wexford.
Construction on the network began last September delivering 1Gigabit speeds to 300 homes in Cavan, and continues this summer. The initial phase of the project, which consists of fifty towns, is expected to be fully rolled-out by the end of 2018 with scope for a second phase that will reach 300 smaller towns.
At the event SIRO also announced its interest in tendering for the National Broadband Plan later this year to deliver the optimum solution for bringing high speed broadband to rural Ireland.
Backed by two of Ireland’s leading companies Vodafone and ESB SIRO already has access to €450 million in funding to roll-out the first phase of the project, with additional funding available for future investment and further phases.
SIRO’s 100% fibre-to-the-building broadband network will be deployed on ESB’s existing overhead and underground infrastructure, ensuring a fast and cost efficient roll-out to every county in Ireland and reversing the digital divide between the capital and regional towns.
SIRO’s key differentiator is that it is a custom built 100% fibre optic service powered by light, making it different and better than any other broadband infrastructure in Ireland, with no copper connection at any point in the network.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, said;
“This Government is serious about broadband. High speed broadband is a necessity for all Irish homes and businesses as we connect Ireland to the world and create new jobs.
This is why the Government supported the joint venture between ESB and Vodafone to create SIRO. Today’s launch of SIRO will light up Ireland.
As a result of this project, 50 regional towns in 26 counties – the equivalent of half a million homes and businesses around Ireland – will have access to a 1 Gigabit 100% fibre broadband connection, putting us on a par for high speed connectivity with leading international hubs, such as Tokyo and Hong Kong.
As a result, Ireland’s first Gigabit towns – Cavan, Dundalk, Westport, Castlebar, Sligo, Carrigaline, Tralee, Navan, Letterkenny and Wexford – will ultimately have the same economic opportunities as those that are available in Dublin. I’m also delighted that this new venture will create 60 direct jobs and 200 construction jobs in the development of the new network.”
Minister for Communications, Alex White TD, also commented;
“The formation of SIRO has added a hugely competitive dynamic to the Irish market, and it comes at a critical time in the development of our broadband infrastructure.
These developments are encompassed by the National Broadband Plan, which is in the process of delivering high speed broadband to every home, school and business in Ireland, regardless of its location.
This is being achieved by a partnership between the Government and commercial telecommunications companies. The commercial sector has responded by investing heavily to provide high-speed access to 70% of Ireland’s premises. The Government will ensure that high speed broadband is delivered to the remaining 30% through a State-funded intervention.”
“Irish consumers and businesses deserve so much more from their broadband and SIRO is a transformative project which will finally provide the connectivity required to put Ireland on an equal footing with some of the most competitive economies across the globe. ”
Anne O Leary, Vodafone Ireland CEO
“SIRO’s launch today will put Vodafone at the heart of delivering the best broadband service to people right across the country. Vodafone are very excited at the prospect of offering our customers access to this ground breaking new technology in the autumn.
This project is being held up internationally as an example of unique innovation where telecoms operators can re-use existing national electricity infrastructure to provide broadband right into customers’ homes and businesses. It is Ireland’s first fully open access network, which is a huge positive as it will drive welcome competition in the market and much needed investment in broadband infrastructure across regional Ireland.”
“This is the first project of its kind in Europe and will ensure a fast and cost efficient roll-out to every county in Ireland, reversing the digital divide between the capital and regional towns – a potential legacy that we can all be proud of.”
Pat O'Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB
“Together with Vodafone, ESB is investing almost half a billion euro in SIRO to deliver the most powerful broadband service ever available in Ireland by running fibre technology alongside some of our overhead and underground electricity lines.
As an organisation that sits at the heart of towns and communities across the country, ESB takes immense pride from the fact that SIRO’s 100% fibre-to-the-building broadband network will be a key enabler for a knowledge based, services led economy and will transform the internet experience of SMEs, remote workers and consumers in regional Ireland.”
“We are very fortunate to have two parents in the form of ESB and Vodafone, both leading international companies with the technological and infrastructural expertise to make SIRO a reality.”
Sean Atkinson, SIRO CEO
“This project demonstrates how a commercial semi-state is making efficient and effective use of its assets, along with Vodafone’s fibre expertise, to deliver world leading speeds to the Irish market.
SIRO will deliver a bright future for Ireland, supporting economic prosperity by delivering services that are cutting edge and transformative and boosting retail competition in the broadband market for all Irish consumers and businesses.
SIRO’s 100% fibre optic broadband service will help Ireland’s regional areas compete more effectively for investment and jobs, SMEs to work more efficiently and give consumers unrivalled digital access.
SIRO as a custom built open access FTTB wholesale operator is ideally suited to helping the Government achieve its National Broadband Plan goal of delivering a minimum of 30 Mbps to every premises in the country.”
Download SIRO launch media pack.