Galway’s PorterShed to expand as it becomes a Gigabit Hub

24 Jan 2022

PorterShed's new building. Image: PorterShed

The PorterShed will become Galway’s first Gigabit Hub as part of an expansion that will add 200 desks to the co-working space.

Siro and Vodafone have announced a partnership with the PorterShed co-working space in Galway, providing high-speed 1Gbps fibre broadband under the Gigabit Hub initiative.

The PorterShed will become the 17th hub to join the national Gigabit Hub initiative, which offers a gigabit broadband connection to qualifying business hubs, free of charge, for a duration of two years. The innovation hub and tech event space will also become the first Gigabit Hub in Galway.

This is part of the PorterShed’s expansion plans, which will see it move from its existing premises near Eyre Square to a larger campus comprising two new buildings in the Galway City Innovation District. This expansion will provide an additional 200 desks for the co-working hub, bringing its total capacity to 330 desks overall.

“Access to reliable fibre broadband that can meet the data demands of our member companies today and into the future is essential,” PorterShed CEO Mary Rogers said.

“It’s hugely important to the PorterShed and its long-term sustainability. The support of Siro and Vodafone along with Enterprise Ireland ensure the PorterShed can continue to deliver and improve its service offering.”

Since its establishment in May 2016, PorterShed said almost 800 jobs have been created from its work supporting the development of local tech start-ups. It plans to support the creation of an additional 1,700 jobs by its member companies as part of this new phase of development.

To date, start-ups supported by PorterShed have attracted €35m in inward investment to fuel their growth. Some of its former and current clients include fashion-tech player Rent the Runway, fintech payments company Kappture and digital communications company Superfly Ireland.

“The PorterShed has achieved much in this regard in just a few short years,” Siro corporate affairs director Amanda Glancy said. “We are hugely supportive of the next phase of the PorterShed’s growth and excited about contributing to its long-term success with our fibre broadband service.”

Managing director of Vodafone Ireland Business, Sinead Bryan, said that PorterShed has done “amazing work” contributing to Galway’s regional economy.

She added that the Gibabit Hub initiative was designed to “support local job creation and revitalise local economies” by providing high-quality fibre connectivity.  “The pandemic has highlighted that connectivity is key to our economic recovery, so it’s another way for us to support that objective.”

At the end of last year, Siro announced plans to roll out the second phase of its high-speed broadband network in Ireland after securing €620m in funding. It said that this expansion would also bolster the Gigabit Hub initiative that Siro and Vodafone began in 2017.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic