Siro and Westnet bring gigabit connectivity to Westport innovation hub

30 May 2018

From left: Brendan Minish, Westnet CTO; Paul Cunnane, Westnet CEO; Stephanie Colombani, Westport Chamber CEO; and Stephen O’Connor, Siro’s director of corporate affairs, at the official opening of Westport’s Leeson Enterprise Centre. Image: Edelman Ireland

Westport’s Leeson Enterprise Centre will be enabled with a 1Gbps broadband connection.

The Leeson Enterprise Centre in Westport is an innovation hub designed to support Mayo start-ups and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.

Facilities at the hub include hotdesks, co-working spaces, private office space and meeting rooms. Those who avail of these existing services will now be able to take advantage of first-class broadband speeds, enabling their businesses to become more efficient.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring, TD, officially opened the centre on 25 May.

Wholesale broadband operator Siro is powering the 1Gbps broadband connection for the hub, provided by Mayo-based provider Westnet. The speedy connection will go a long way towards making businesses at the hub more efficient as restrictions due to poor connectivity will become a thing of the past.

Fostering innovation in Westport

Westnet is one of Siro’s retail partners and already offers a range of 100pc fibre optic packages for both residential and business customers in Castlebar and Westport. The connection at the Leeson Enterprise Centre will be provided free of charge for a two-year period, in a bid to foster innovation in the Mayo town and enable local entrepreneurs to strengthen their businesses.

Westport Chamber CEO Stephanie Colombani noted how important a quality broadband connection is to a modern business, adding that the new connection would enable companies to remain in smaller towns as opposed to being forced to move to larger cities. “Being connected to infrastructure like Siro’s 100pc fibre optic network is a game-changer for us as it is a vital factor in the decision-making process for any company looking to establish itself in Westport,” she added.

Westport as an innovation centre

Stephen O’Connor, director of corporate affairs at Siro, noted that the Leeson Enterprise Centre is already establishing itself as a vital facility for the west, and the 1Gbps connection would further boost its presence in Mayo. He added that this step is part of Siro’s wider strategy to revitalise towns across Ireland with the help of digital transformation, thereby “helping to attract investment and encouraging more people to establish businesses in towns like Westport”.

Westnet CEO and co-founder, Paul Cunnane, concluded: “Gigabit connectivity is the starting point in the creation of a gigabit society across Ireland, which will offer employees in these businesses a better work-life balance and allow them to pursue their careers in Westport without sacrificing their quality of life.”

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