Donegal to get a broadband speed boost in €14m Siro investment

12 Feb 2019

Bundoran, Co Donegal. Image: © Madrugada Verde/

Six new towns to act as a pilot for potential second phase of Siro roll-out.

Wholesale broadband player Siro is to invest €14m to connect six towns across Donegal to its network.

The six towns are Buncrana, Donegal town, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Ballyshannon and Bundoran.

‘Broadband is as vital for day-to-day life as electricity and is an absolute necessity for social and economic development in Donegal’

This will see more than 14,000 homes and premises offered access to the Siro network. 1,600 homes and businesses in Buncrana are already connected to the network.

“Construction is well underway with services already live in Buncrana and our retail partners are already taking orders in Buncrana,” said Stephen O’Connor, Siro’s director of corporate affairs. “Simply put, this will have a transformational effect as all 25,000 homes and businesses will have access to gigabit broadband, which is the international gold standard for broadband connectivity.”

High demand for high speed

This brings the company’s investment in Donegal to date to €25m if you include the 11,000 premises in Letterkenny already connected. It is understood that high demand in Letterkenny has already led to a 25pc penetration rate for Siro in the town.

“Broadband is as vital for day-to-day life as electricity and is an absolute necessity for social and economic development in Donegal,” said Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill, chair of Donegal County Council.

Siro has also committed to connect the council’s planned Digital Hub in Buncrana as part of the Siro-Vodafone national Gigabit Hub initiative.

Siro’s roll-out originally focused on 50 regional towns, each with more than 4,000 premises, across the country. The addition of these six smaller towns to the company’s roll-out is a pilot for a potential future second phase.

Siro, which recently appointed John Keaney as its new CEO, delivers fibre optic cables all the way to the building using the existing ESB network, with no copper connections at any point. The company was created as part of a €450m joint venture between ESB and Vodafone.

Siro’s 1Gbps broadband network is now live in 30 towns across the country, with 10 retailers offering connections to 200,000 homes and businesses, offered on an open access basis to all telecoms retailers in Ireland.

Siro has formed partnerships with 10 operators – Vodafone, Digiweb, Sky, BT, Carnsore Broadband, Rocket Broadband, Kerry Broadband, Enet, Airwire and Westnet – with more retailers expected to come on board.

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