Irish fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) wholesaler SIRO – a joint venture between utility firm Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and Vodafone Ireland – has confirmed that it has secured funding worth EUR620 million (USD716.8 million) to expand its network footprint. Of the total figure, EUR170 million was supplied by the European Investment Bank (EIB), with the remainder committed by a syndicate of Irish and international lenders.
The investment will allow SIRO to increase its fibre footprint from 450,000 to 770,000 homes and businesses (over 2.1 million people), reaching a total of 154 towns across Ireland. In addition, all infrastructure will be upgraded to support download speeds of up to 2Gbps. (Note: 2Gbps speeds went live in an initial market, Kilkenny, on 19 October.)
SIRO CEO John Keaney commented: ‘This is a landmark announcement not just for SIRO, but also for Ireland as our network will play a fundamental role in a regional renewal and helping households be more sustainable. Connecting over two million people as part of a Gigabit society matters because it means that more people have the option of working from home, with less cars on the roads and families able to spend more quality time with each other.’