SIRO and Vodafone have partnered on a unique new initiative which has the ambitious aim of connecting community and enterprise centres in 15 towns nationwide.
The Gigabit Hub Initiative, powered by SIRO and Vodafone, aims to spark a digital transformation in 15 towns across Ireland by providing Gigabit connectivity to qualifying hubs free of charge for two years. The recipients will receive a 1 Gigabit broadband connection from Vodafone which is powered by SIRO's 100% fibre-optic network. The aim of the initiative is to replicate the success of the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen which is on course to help create 500 jobs in the West Cork region over the next five years.
The Gigabit connectivity will help to boost startups in the region, encourage existing businesses and remote workers to relocate to the hubs and has the potential to stimulate local economic growth and regeneration.
Enterprise and community hubs in 15 towns across the country - Dundalk, Cavan town, Carrigaline, Sligo, Letterkenny, Ratheniska, Wexford town, Drogheda, Westport, Portlaoise, Castlebar, Mullingar, Newbridge, Ennis and Carlow town - can apply by registering their interest on firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date for entries is April 21st.
SIRO is a joint venture from ESB and Vodafone which is building a 100% Fibre to the Building (FTTB) broadband network in 50 Irish regional towns. Powered by light and delivering a 1 Gigabit market leading internet connection, SIRO is already the largest FTTB operator in Ireland and plans to connect 500,000 homes and businesses to its network by 2019. While SIRO will build and manage its network, open access will be offered to all authorised broadband providers in Ireland. This means that consumers and businesses can sign up to SIRO through their local service provider.
Community Hubs with Gigabit connectivity can help regional towns compete with larger urban areas by attracting highly skilled people, encouraging start-ups and making a town more attractive for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Co-working space has been shown to foster innovation and collaboration among client companies. Big ideas can be developed locally and marketed worldwide, giving client companies the opportunity to pursue their dream without leaving their town.
Community Hubs can also play a valuable role in increasing digital literacy among the young, the old and the so called 'non-liners' by organising training and education, bringing both social and economic benefits.
With 2.3 million customers in this market, Vodafone is Ireland's leading total communications provider. Vodafone has a range of communications solutions including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications for consumers and small, medium and large businesses. The company has expanded its capabilities across unified communications, connectivity solutions and cloud and hosting, cementing its status as Ireland's only truly integrated business telecommunications provider.
Since entering the Irish market, Vodafone has made significant investment in its network and in supporting technologies and infrastructure. Vodafone is the single biggest investor in new technology in the Irish telecoms industry annually, with over €1 billion invested to date in building and maintaining the network. This has led to significantly enhanced call and text reliability, Superfast 4G, 3G and wider high definition voice coverage as validated by independent testing. Vodafone is committed to delivering a 'Gigabit Society' in Ireland and to playing a central role in driving that agenda - with the explicit goal of access for everyone to 1 Gigabit broadband speed. Equality of connectivity will change how everyone in Ireland lives, works and plays.