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SIRO Joins FTTH Council


• SIRO connecting 100% fibre broadband at the rate of 10,000 premises per month
• Only Irish operator to join influential advocacy group of European FTTH operators
• Uses existing ESB infrastructure to deliver Gigabit speeds to the home

SIRO, the open-access wholesale broadband provider delivering Ireland’s first 100% fibre-optic broadband network to 50 towns nationwide, has become the largest Fibre to the Home (FTTH) operator in Ireland after passing 36,500 premises. SIRO is now passing about 10,000 premises per month and is targeting 200,000 homes and businesses passed by the end of 2017.

SIRO has also become the first Irish operator to be admitted to the influential FTTH Council. The FTTH Council is an industry organisation whose mission is to accelerate the availability of ultra-high-speed fibre access networks for the benefit of consumers and businesses. The council advocates how fibre communications positively impacts communities and competitiveness and facilitates European policy goals such as the Digital Agenda and the Digital Single Market. It sets out measures that policymakers around the globe can take to help advance the roll-out and take-up of fibre optics.

Today (4th November) FTTH Councils around the world celebrate “Gimme Fibre day”, an annual milestone which celebrates FTTH technology. It also marks the birthday of Nobel Prize winner Sir Charles Kuen Kao, the man who changed the way the world communicates by transmitting light in fibres for optical communication in the sixties.

Commenting on the milestones Sean Atkinson, SIRO CEO, said:

“Despite beginning construction just over a year ago, we are now Ireland’s largest FTTH provider and are on our way to establishing SIRO as Ireland’s new national telecoms infrastructure. We are now passing 10,000 premises per month and will speed up our rollout over the next year. We are already starting to see the impact that SIRO is having, with initiatives like the Ludgate Hub illustrating how Gigabit connectivity can spark a digital transformation in towns like Skibbereen.”
“SIRO is the only Irish operator to be admitted to the FTTH Council, which organises today’s Gimme Fibre day. When the Council presents its reports on FTTH performance across the EU, Ireland is not even included in the graph because our broadband is still delivered over “the last mile” by copper and coaxial cable. The EU published its revised rules for Telecoms investment last month, prioritising fibre investment as a means to achieve ‘the EU Gigabit society.’ We want to change the conversation and the market in Ireland away from legacy copper networks to future proofed 100% fibre instead”

Using the existing ESB network, SIRO is delivered through fibre optic cables which run alongside existing electricity connections, all the way to the building. This technology has no copper connections at any point to slow down the network and delivers 1 Gigabit download and upload speeds. When downloading a high definition film of 4 gigabytes with a 10 Mbps connection, the average download time is an hour – with SIRO it takes approximately 30 seconds.

The first phase of the fibre roll out is currently ongoing with SIRO on schedule to connect over 500,000 homes and businesses across 50 regional towns by 2018. SIRO is building in 17 towns across the country – Dundalk, Cavan, Carrigaline, Sligo, Letterkenny, Tralee, Wexford, Drogheda, Westport, Portlaoise, Castlebar, Mullingar, Newbridge, Ennis, Ratheniska, Carlow and Skibbereen.

As an open access wholesale provider, SIRO is also driving competition in the broadband market with four retailers – Vodafone, Digiweb, Westnet and Carnsore Broadband – signed up thus far and discussions continuing with other providers.

The state of the art technology is having a transformational impact on regional Irish towns, which are now receiving internet services which are on a par with the connectivity enjoyed by international hubs like Tokyo and Hong Kong. With 25% of Irish fixed broadband connections currently offering speeds of less than 10 Mbps1, SIRO is a step-change in connectivity for regional Ireland delivering a service that is three times faster than the best service available in Dublin and over 10 times the best service available in the rest of Ireland.

1 Comreg Quarterly data, Q2 2016