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In our latest guest blog, John Keaney, CEO of SIRO, a broadband operator, rolling out Ireland’s only 100% fibre broadband network, discusses fibre broadband and how SIRO is working with the construction industry to deliver connected homes.
SIRO launched in 2015, as a joint venture between ESB and Vodafone, to roll out a new 100% fibre broadband network across Ireland. To date its network is available to 410,000 premises across Ireland and the company is on track to reach 770,000 overall over the next four years, across 154 towns and cities.
Why fibre broadband?
Fibre broadband is high-speed broadband, using fibre optic cables (vs. outdated copper or cable), regarded as the most dependable and future-proofed connectivity technology in the world today.
Fibre can reach far greater speeds than copper is capable of. SIRO’s fibre broadband can facilitate speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second, with the capacity to reach 25 gigabits, making it the last connection you will ever need.
Our broadband is enabling people to live in ways that match their lifestyles, such as working from home, using multiple devices at once or increasingly living in smart and connected homes. Fibre provides a much more reliable connection which does not suffer from lag or buffering and can respond to ever-increasing data demands.
Fibre is also a more sustainable technology, with up 60% lower energy usage and 80% lower maintenance required for fibre-to-the-building versus copper networks. SIRO’s network is built on the ESB existing electricity network, making it primed to withstand harsh weather conditions.
What does the rollout of fibre broadband mean for the construction industry?
SIRO recently announced we are joining the Construction Industry Federation as a corporate partner. It is a partnership we are really excited about and looking forward to making a positive contribution to the sector overall.
Demand for smart homes, which come with high speed, reliable broadband was a feature of the property market pre-COVID-19. Now, broadband is regarded as an essential service, no different from other utilities such as gas or water. Research has also shown that homes with trustworthy connectivity are much sought after, attract a higher price and sell quicker.
Demand for SIRO broadband resulted in our most recent network expansion announcement. On 28 October last, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin joined us in O’Reilly Hall, UCD to announce a €620 million investment in our network over the next four years. This work has already begun. It will mean more people, more communities and more towns in the SIRO network footprint.
Our work with the construction industry
SIRO is already working with leading developers in the construction sector to support them in delivering connected homes and businesses, across a wide spectrum – new homes, retrofitting existing, MDUs, student accommodation or healthcare facilities such as care homes.
As an open-access wholesaler, with 19 national and local SIRO resellers, we provide developers with greater choice in addition to meeting their requirement to provide access to multiple retailers. Further, at SIRO we have a dedicated property team who work with our developers. For end users, we ensure they also enjoy both choice and competition too.
As SIRO uses ESB’s electricity network, this means we are able to use the existing infrastructure on site. Not only this, as we are built upon ESB’s infrastructure, we are also physically inside the ESB ducts, resulting in no additional space being required on footpaths.
The future of smart homes
What’s clear is that connected and smart homes are no longer niche; increasingly they’re standard. The average Irish home now has a minimum of ten connected devices (and this is much more, depending on the profile of the occupants). This number will double by 2025. We will also see an increased proliferation of smart devices – smart security, smart home appliances, even smart temperature responsive windows – are coming our way.
These all point to an expectation of full fibre connected homes and businesses. Meeting these expectations will require ever closer collaboration between broadband operators and the construction sector. SIRO is ready for the challenge!