SIRO invests €40m in latest fibre broadband rollout
Open access broadband provider SIRO is to invest €40m to expand its offering to six new towns across Ireland.
SIRO is Ireland's first 100pc fibre-optic broadband network and is available in 50 towns nationwide so far.
The investment will see its services enter Mullingar, Newbridge, Ennis, Portlaoise, Drogheda, and Carlow.
As a result, services will be live or construction work will be under way in 17 towns by the end of the year - Dundalk, Cavan, Carrigaline, Sligo, Letterkenny, Tralee, Wexford, Drogheda, Westport, Castlebar, Mullingar, Newbridge, Ennis, Ratheniska, Carlow and Skibbereen.
SIRO chief executive Sean Atkinson said the company has received a "fantastic response" from its rollout.
"It is our ambition to become Ireland's new national telecomms infrastructure," Mr Atkinson said.
"We have plans for a second phase which covers over 300 smaller towns and we are shortlisted for the Government's National Broadband Plan (NBP) which aims to deliver high speed access to all citizens by 2020," he said.
SIRO is a joint venture between the ESB and Vodafone. As part of the venture the broadband network runs along the ESB's electricity wires, both overhead and underground.
The venture was launched in May last year with before making the service first available across 10 towns initially.
SIRO values its network at €450m with the technology delivering broadband copper-free, which has the ability to slow down connections.
The added investment comes after the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) announced it would be throwing its weight behind Eir for the Government's country-wide broadband plan.
Eir is one of three bidders been shortlisted to land the State contract. As part of the deal the IFA will help Eir develop the best broadband solution for farmers. SIRO's rollout has so far been restricted to towns with at least 4,000 homes or businesses.