by Miceál O’Hurley
As Ireland continues to lag behind the rest of the EU and developed world in creating broadband access outside of urban centres – where, even there, access is flawed and expensive – Tipperary is pushing forward with new, high-speed internet access to two towns.
Nenagh and Roscrea will soon be the beneficiaries of Siro expanding its 1Gbps network. Siro’s roll-out of its state-of-the-art fibre network will expand its reach to an additional 16,000 homes and businesses. Siro’s announcement follows-on their plans to extend their 100% fibre network in Cork to over 65,000 homes and businesses.
Outlining their plans to expand its Tipperary network, Siro’s presentation to Tipperary County Council’s Nenagh Municipal District indicated starting the project in Nenagh’s Abbey Court, Ormond Drive and Brook Lands areas. The Roscrea roll-out will follow after the completion of the Nenagh fibre installations.
Speaking at the announcement, Siro spokesperson Aoife Ni Lochlainn said: “This will have a transformational effect on the digital environment of these three towns, allowing businesses to compete online with their international peers and helping local entrepreneurs and businesses to bring their ideas to life, trading effortlessly around the world.” Access is expected to be completed in 2019.
The TLI Group, whose Irish office is headquartered in Tralee, Kerry, who previously paired with Siro in Clonmel and other locations, have been selected as build partner for the Nenagh and Roscrea projects. TLI Group specialises consulting and infrastructure construction projects for the utilities industry, including ESB, Siro, SSE, Northern Ireland Electricity and others. TLI Group has also emerged as a leader in Ireland’s solar and renewable energy sector.
A joint venture between the ESB and Vodafone, Siro is a €450m ‘open network’ operating company with a live network in more than 30 towns across the country. Open network connections are available to all broadband providers. Siro is supported by a sales network that includes retailers and direct consumer sales from its partners, including Vodafone, Rocket Broadband, Digiweb, Westnet, Kerry Broadband, Carnsore Broadband, Sky and Airwire. Siro serves more than 185,000 homes and businesses.
National Broadband Plan
Regarding the final bid tender for the National Broadband Plan (NBP) to create high-speed broadband access to more than 540,000 rural homes, the Government announced on September 19 that the final bid included a consortium operating under the name National Broadband Ireland. The final bid tender did not include Siro, who left the bidding process about a year ago. Eir, previously Eircom, previously opted-out of the bidding process.