Siro Gigabit Hub Initiative looks to repeat Ludgate success

Siro Hubs Initiative
Pictured: Sean Atkinson, Siro, Minister for Jobs Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Anne O'Leary, Vodafone Ireland

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27 March 2017 | 0

Siro has launched a national Gigabit Hub Initiative, modelled on the success of the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen – which is on track to create 500 jobs over the next five years.

The ESB/Vodafone joint venture will offer a 1Gb/s broadband connection to qualifying business, technology and start-up hubs free of charge for two years with the initiative having the potential to create thousands of jobs.

The Initiative is open to hubs based in 15 towns: Dundalk, Cavan town, Carrigaline, Sligo, Letterkenny, Wexford town, Drogheda, Portlaoise, Castlebar, Mullingar, Newbridge, Ennis, Ratheniska, Tralee and Carlow town.

Vodafone research undertaken in late 2016 with businesses based at Ludgate, found that nearly two-thirds (62%) said that faster broadband and mobile phone coverage would enable them to expand their business, with the majority saying that they intend to employ more people on a full or part-time basis in the next 12 months as a result of super-fast broadband.

However, nearly seven in 10 (69%) said slow and unreliable speeds prevent them from working efficiently and hold back their potential for growth, clearly illustrating the importance of high-speed broadband connectivity to businesses.

“When we helped to launch the Ludgate Hub last year, we wanted to establish a blueprint for other towns across the country to replicate Skibbereen’s success, which if mirrored, has the potential to create and secure thousands of jobs in rural Ireland”, said Anne O’Leary, chief executive of Vodafone Ireland.

“Today we have realised that vision with the launch of our Gigabit Hub initiative, helping 15 towns to become part of the Gigabit society and becoming a beacon of innovation for the rest of the country. We now want to encourage communities in these other towns to follow Ludgate’s lead and leverage gigabit connectivity to boost the local economy.”

Sean Atkinson, Siro, CEO, said: “The Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen illustrates the digital transformation that our 100% fibre-optic broadband network can spark and our Gigabit Hubs initiative will open up a new world of possibilities for the 15 towns involved.”

Siro is building Ireland’s first dedicated fibre-to-the-building broadband network, offering a 1Gb/s connectivity to 500,000 premises in 50 regional towns.

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