Siro plans to make Cork the broadband capital of Ireland

17 Sep 2018

Blarney Castle. Blarney is one of the new towns set to benefit from Siro’s connectivity plan. Image: GIGASHOTS/Shutterstock

Siro is unveiling a major plan to provide Cork towns with access to its gigabit broadband.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, TD, has launched a new Siro plan to make Cork a formidable broadband hub.

The plan marks the first time that the company’s gigabit broadband will be built in a city of Cork’s scale, with more than 65,000 homes and business premises targeted.

Cork as a broadband hub

So far, Siro has built a network of more than 185,000 premises in 40 towns around the country, and Cork will be the company’s single largest investment. Successful deployments have already taken place in several Cork towns, namely Carrigaline, Skibbereen and Mallow. The new plan includes five new towns: Carrigtwohill, Midleton, Blarney, Tower and Charleville.

The €60m construction plans announced today (17 September) bring the total investment by Siro in Cork to €70m.

Huawei is Siro’s build partner for the Cork city roll-out and will be providing end-to-end network equipment for phase one of Siro’s nationwide roll-out to 50 regional partners. Huawei is currently Siro’s build partner in Athlone.

The TLI Group has already worked with Siro in Carrigaline and will be delivering gigabit connectivity to the five new Cork towns added to the construction plans. The towns will gain access to Siro’s fibre-to-the-building technology, which is copper-free and 100pc fibre optic.

Transforming the county

Minister Coveney said: “Gigabit connectivity will have a transformative effect on Cork city as fibre-to-the-building is recognised as the gold standard for broadband internationally. As a result, this will give Cork businesses a head start against their peers both at home and internationally, as well as giving homes access to the latest innovative digital services.”

He added: “Cork stands to benefit substantially as highlighted by 10 other towns in the county all forming part of Siro’s roll-out.”

CEO of Siro, Sean Atkinson, said: “While Cork is traditionally seen as the second capital of Ireland, today’s announcement will firmly establish it as the broadband capital of Ireland. Our gigabit connectivity will complement Cork’s rich technology heritage and put it on a par with international cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo.”

Atkinson added that the large volume of office space due to open, as well as lower-than-average rental prices, would help to drive digital transformation in the county.

Eric Yang, president of the Vodafone account at Huawei, said the network will “future-proof Cork city’s broadband requirements for generations”.

Cork Chamber president Bill O’Connell added: “Given the strong growth of sectors such as global financial services, fintech, ICT, SaaS and cybersecurity in Cork, it is absolutely essential that business is supported by the best-quality connectivity.

“We have the lowest latency transatlantic connection in Europe, new connections to mainland Europe in planning and now the local connectivity to match. It builds further resilience for an economy increasingly driven by data.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects