Vodafone and ESB Makes New Joint Venture – SIRO

Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has made a joint venture company branded as SIRO with Vodafone group to deploy fiber to the building networks. Formation of new broadband company creates 260 jobs in Ireland, out of which 60 are within SIRO and another 200 jobs in construction jobs when the network will start roll-out. The word SIRO is coined from Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.

ESB’s telecom wing owns 1,300 km national fiber optic network. This fiber optic network comprise of 48 fiber cables wrapped around the ESB High Voltage Network that links various Metropolitan Area Networks (MANS) in various mayor Irish cities. The national network is constructed in a figure-of-eight pattern around Ireland, with a spur from Carrick-on-Shannon to Buncrana. ESB also owns and manages more than 400 telecommunications towers and sites, containing substantial installations for all major Irish telecommunications

The Minister unveiled the joint venture. SIRO is set to light up Ireland’s communications landscape when it delivers the most powerful network in the country, unlike any other broadband infrastructure in Ireland. SIRO invests 707 million US dollars to build Ireland’s first 100% fiber-to-the-building broadband network. This investment will speed up broadband services from 200 Mbps ato 1 Gbps to half a million premises in 50 regional towns. SIRO is not a retail product, but it is unique in that it exclusively offers a wholesale open access network meaning that it will be available to all telecoms operators in Ireland to resell to their customers.

The joint venture had identified ten locations to start deploying its fiber broadband. These locations are named as Ireland’s first Gigabit towns or “fiberhoods”. Thoefiberhoods identified for installation are Cavan, Dundalk, Westport, Castlebar, Sligo, Carrigaline, Tralee, Navan, Letterkenny and Wexford. Construction on the network began last September delivering 1 Gigabit speeds to 300 homes in Cavan, that the company will continue this summer.

The initial phase of the project consisting fifty towns is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018. The second phase of the project will extend connectivity to 300 smaller towns. During the inauguration ceremony, SIRO also announced its interest in tendering for the National Broadband Plan later this year to deliver the optimum solution for bringing high speed broadband to rural Ireland. SIRO’s 100% fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) broadband network will be deployed on ESB’s existing overhead and underground infrastructure that will ensure faster and cost effective roll-out to every county in Ireland.


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