SIRO, the joint venture between Vodafone Ireland and sustainable energy company ESB, has signed a network interconnection agreement with BT Ireland to further extend infrastructure access across the Republic. SIRO, which has been established to connect 50 towns and cities with 1Gbps broadband services in phase one (and a further 300 towns in phase two), says the move to interconnect its local access network with BT Ireland’s national fibre systems will be a massive boost for the industry. It is understood the agreement covers the framework for both firms’ network, systems and commercial activities, and will allow BT Ireland to offer its corporate, public sector and wholesale customers access to SIRO’s 1Gbps fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) network. Local press reports note that the interconnect deal will enable regional broadband providers access to BT without having to commit to their own costly network rollouts. SIRO is currently Ireland’s largest FTTB operator, with over 40,000 premises passed in 17 towns. Its services are live in nine locations – Dundalk, Cavan, Carrigaline, Sligo, Letterkenny, Tralee, Wexford, Ratheniska and Skibereen – while progress is ongoing in a further eight, namely Drogheda, Westport, Portlaoise, Castlebar, Mullingar, Newbridge, Ennis and Carlow.