SIRO, the broadband provider delivering Ireland’s first 100% fibre-optic broadband network to 50 towns nationwide, and BT Ireland announced the signing of a network agreement between the two companies.
This network interconnect agreement, which lays the foundation for all network, systems and commercial activities between the two companies, enables BT to offer its corporate, public sector and wholesale customers access to SIRO’s 1 GB Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) local-access network.
BT has a unique position in the Irish market as a network aggregation service provider, which means that it can complement its own extensive local and global fibre network with last mile fibre access services from several other communications companies, the Government Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) and now SIRO. This provides BT with widespread availability of access networks upon which it delivers its domestic and global networked IT services and solutions. Communications companies, including rural fixed and wireless broadband providers, can now also benefit from the widest choice and reach of access networks in Ireland through interconnecting its network with SIRO.
With over 40,000 premises passed in 17 towns, SIRO is Ireland’s largest Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) operator – the gold standard for broadband connectivity internationally. Using the existing ESB network, SIRO is delivered by fibre optic cables all the way to the building. This technology, known as Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB), has no copper connections at any point to slow down the network and delivers 1 Gigabit download and upload speeds.
SIRO service is live in 9 towns (Dundalk, Cavan, Carrigaline, Sligo, Letterkenny, Tralee, Wexford, Ratheniska & Skibbereen) while build is advanced in a further 8 towns. Drogheda, Westport, Portlaoise, Castlebar, Mullingar, Newbridge, Ennis & Carlow. The first phase of SIRO’s rollout covers 50 regional towns, with plans for a second phase that would cover another 300 smaller towns across Ireland. The agreement is of strategic importance as it will enable smaller, regional broadband providers to access services via BT without having to invest significantly in capital infrastructure. Two of SIRO’s existing retail partners – Carnsore Broadband and WestNet – are regional broadband providers offering services in Wexford and Castlebar. The network interconnect agreement with BT will lay the foundation for SIRO to add multiple retail partners, extending its reach across Ireland.
Commenting on the announcement, Sean Atkinson, SIRO CEO, said:
“The agreement with BT is a sign of the demand by broadband providers across Ireland for an alternative national telecoms infrastructure. The combination of BT’s national fibre network and SIRO’s local access network will be transformative for regional Ireland and local operators. As our unique 100% optical Fibre-to-the-Building network is the only solution capable of future proofing Ireland’s broadband needs, we expect further interest from new retail partners within BT’s existing wholesale customer base”.
Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland, added:
“Since entering the market in the 1990s, BT has brought much-needed competition to the communications sector in Ireland, creating more choice for Irish organisations looking for services to help them expand within Ireland or abroad. This new agreement with SIRO adds to our access network reach, giving us a greater choice of networks to offer our clients around the country.”