Fastest ever broadband speeds promised by SIRO

A joint venture between the ESB and Vodafone was launched today, promising broadband upload and download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps in Ireland

Eoin Clarke
by Eoin Clarke on 15th May, 2015

Last October the European Commission approved the plans for both companies to invest €450 million into the 100% fibre network in Ireland. Dubbed SIRO, the venture is a new fibre broadband network that will use the existing overhead and underground infrastructure of the ESB power lines to run fibre directly into homes and businesses all over the country. SIRO’s key differentiator is that it is a custom built 100% fibre optic service powered by light, making it different to any other broadband infrastructure in Ireland, with no copper connection at any point in the network.

Ten Gigabit launch towns, or ‘fibrehoods’, were announced today - Cavan, Dundalk, Westport, Castlebar, Sligo, Carrigaline, Tralee, Navan, Letterkenny and Wexford. The service has been trialled in 300 households and businesses in Cavan since last Autumn. The first phase of the project, consisting of 50 towns, is expected to be fully completed by the end of 2018. A second phase plan is in place for the service to reach a further 300 towns. SIRO is targeting centres of population away from larger cities, which already have high speed broadband access.

SIRO will not be offering the network as a retail product, meaning consumers won’t buy the service directly from them. SIRO will be available to all telecoms operators in Ireland, such as UPC or Vodafone, to resell to their customers.

There has been no official announcement on the cost of SIRO for the consumer, but industry experts are estimating a price point between €40 and €90 per month, depending on the package you get.

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Commenting at the launch of SIRO, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “Today’s launch of SIRO marks the beginning of an exciting, first of its kind project in Europe and I congratulate ESB and Vodafone for delivering a new kind of connectivity in Ireland, through a highly innovative approach. 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.”

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.  

The venture will also create 200 temporary construction jobs and 60 permanent positions.

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