Siro and BT complete first customer 1Gbps broadband trial

14 Jul 2017

Image: Jamen Percy/Shutterstock

The first live trial of Siro 1Gbps broadband on the BT network has taken place in Cork.

Vodafone and ESB’s joint venture Siro has successfully completed the first ‘live’ trial of its 1Gbps broadband network relationship with BT.

Siro also retails broadband through partners such as Vodafone, Digiweb, Westnet Broadband, Rocket Broadband and Carnsore Broadband.

The BT trial, which took place at a customer’s home in Carrigaline, Cork signals the combination of BT’s national fibre network with Siro’s 1Gbps fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) local network.

BT’s local and global fibre network connects to last-mile services for other telecoms companies as well as the Government’s metropolitan area networks, and now Siro.

“This is an exciting development in our journey with Siro and we are delighted to reach a point of live trialling the technology and creating greater opportunities for our wholesale customers,” said BT Ireland managing director Shay Walsh.

“In partnering with Siro, we are taking the complexity out of matters for our customers, acting as a single point of contact for communication providers to gain access to the best technology available on the market.”

Putting fibre in the nation’s diet

Siro and BT complete first customer 1Gbps broadband trial

From left: Peter Evans, strategy director, BT Ireland; Shay Walsh, managing director, BT Ireland; Sean Atkinson, Siro CEO; and Ronan Whelan, commercial director of Siro. Image: Siro

Siro is a €450m joint venture between Vodafone and ESB, and it aims to pass 500,000 premises in 50 towns around Ireland by 2018.

Over the course of 2017, Siro said that it will invest €150m to facilitate the roll-out of broadband.

This will include the hiring of 400 subcontractors to lay the foundations for the network that is currently based in 17 regional towns through its FTTB service.

Siro commercial director Ronan Whelan said: “Our partnership with BT highlights how we are driving competition in the broadband market by ultimately enabling regional broadband providers to offer 1Gbps broadband services powered by Siro to their customers, without having to make significant investments in building a fibre network.

“As a result, this development will lead to increased choice for consumers by providing a platform for small and large operators to compete in the broadband market.”

Tangled wires

Siro, along with Eir and Enet, is shortlisted for the Irish Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP).

Constant delays to commencement are, however, raising more questions than answers as to the ultimate feasibility of the plan.

The NBP was changed in April when the Government agreed a deal with Eir to grant the incumbent operator access to 300,000 of the homes in the intervention area.

This reduced the number of homes in the NBP intervention area to 542,000 premises, including an additional 84,500 identified for the Department of Communications’ Broadband Map, much to the displeasure of the other bidders vying against Eir.

Updated, 5.10pm, 17 July 2017: This article was updated to clarify that the Siro trial took place on the BT network. Siro also retails 1Gbps broadband through partners Vodafone, Digiweb, Carnsore Broadband, Westnet Broadband and Rocket Broadband.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years