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SIRO Selects Ratheniska

Ratheniska, Co. Laois Revealed As Location For SIRO’s Rural Broadband Pilot By European Commissioner Phil Hogan.

100% fibre Optic broadband connectivity to be provided by SIRO to enable one Gigabit broadband infrastructure in Ratheniska.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan has today announced that SIRO, the ESB-Vodafone joint venture which is delivering Ireland’s first 100% fibre-optic broadband network to 50 regional towns nationwide, has selected Ratheniska, Co. Laois – home of the National Ploughing Championships – as the location for a rural broadband pilot programme.

SIRO has chosen Ratheniska as a pilot village to evaluate the potential for rolling out the SIRO network to rural areas in a future phase.

17 premises have been connected to the SIRO network, including 14 homes, Ratheniska National School, the Community Hall and Park Ratheniska GAA club.

Announcing the pilot programme in Ratheniska at the National Ploughing Championships, Hogan commented;

“The prioritisation of high speed broadband for rural areas is a key objective for his mandate as the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

It is vital that the digital gap between urban and rural areas is closed as high speed broadband connectivity is a major factor for the long term sustainability of rural communities.

A future proofed fibre optic broadband network like SIRO’s will enable remote working for people living in rural areas, empower the farming community to take advantage of the latest technological trends and encourage more people to establish online businesses in every corner of Ireland.”

Sean Atkinson, CEO of SIRO, added;

“SIRO’s 100% fibre-optic broadband network will revolutionise Ratheniska’s broadband experience and put the village on a par with cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo in terms of connectivity.”

“Access to our one Gigabit network means that Ratheniska’s broadband infrastructure will be four times more powerful than Dublin. This investment by SIRO is an important complement to the Government’s National Broadband Plan, by a commercial operator, and will further increase the quality of Ireland’s broadband services.”

Sean Atkinson, SIRO CEO

Ratheniska was selected due to its proximity to both the national telecommunications hub and the ESB training centre in Portlaoise, its accessibility and its diverse demographic and occupational profile.

Participants in the trial will experience 1 Gigabit connectivity, revolutionising the village’s experience of broadband due to SIRO’s key differentiator of 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.

For example, a high definition film (4GB) takes one hour to download with a 10mbps internet connection, with SIRO it will take 30 seconds.

SIRO’s 100% fibre 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 will enable each community that is part of its network to take avail of the latest developments in areas like eCommerce, remote working and telemedicine, which will encourage more people to live in rural communities, take advantage of business opportunities and establish new companies.

The demands of feeding a growing global population represent an exciting opportunity for Irish farmers, SMEs and local industry at the forefront. To meet this challenge, higher yields, better productivity and a greater marriage between traditional farming methods and cutting-edge technology will need to be achieved.

However, the new farming applications and smart agriculture that will fuel this growth requires better connectivity and SIRO’s 100% fibre optic broadband network will put rural villages like Ratheniska on a par with leading international hubs like Tokyo and Hong Kong.

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