Ratheniska chosen for SIRO broadband pilot programme

24 Sep 2015

SIRO's roll-out to Ratheniska, Co Laois could revolutionise the village’s experience of broadband. Photo via Rob van Esch/Shutterstock

Ratheniska in Laois has been picked as the pilot point for SIRO’s rural broadband programme, with 17 premises connected to the network.

Ratheniska is, of course, currently hosting the National Ploughing Championships so, in purely promotional terms, SIRO could not have chosen a better time or place to announce the news.

The plan is to provide a 100pc fibre-optic broadband network to 50 regional towns nationwide, part of a larger industry move that has seen a number of players emerge amid a race to connect (in high-speed terms) the whole country to the web.

Of the 17 sites that will be hooked up, 14 are homes, with Ratheniska National School, the Community Hall and Park Ratheniska GAA club completing the set.

Irish broadband on the up

According to SIRO, Ratheniska was selected due to its proximity to both the national telecommunications hub and the ESB training centre in Portlaoise.

“Participants in the trial will experience 1Gb connectivity, revolutionising the village’s experience of broadband,” claims the joint ESB-Vodafone venture.

SIRO claims that, through the scheme, a 4Gb film that takes one hour to download with a 10Mbps internet connection will take just 30 seconds.

“Our 100pc fibre-optic broadband network will revolutionise Ratheniska’s broadband experience and put the village on a par with cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo in terms of connectivity,” SIRO’s CEO Sean Atkinson said.

“Access to our 1Gb network means that Ratheniska’s broadband infrastructure will be four times more powerful than Dublin’s.”

Rural internet image by Rob van Esch via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic