Broadband provider Siro has announced a €620 million upgrade and expansion of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network, which will nearly double its reach to 770,000 homes and businesses.
The ESB-Vodafone joint venture said the additional investment was secured through a syndicate of Irish and international investors, with €170 million coming from the European Investment Bank, and would fund the next phase of its rollout.
Siro, a wholesale provider of broadband services, is building a fibre broadband network across the ESB’s infrastructure.
The company is now a serious challenger to market incumbent Eir. It has already spent €450 million on its network, which operates in 64 regional towns and is used by 19 retailers.
The €620 million capital injection will extend Siro’s reach to an additional 320,000 homes and businesses, almost doubling its footprint to 770,000 premises (more than 2.1 million people) and into 154 towns across the State.
The company said the expanded rollout would power regional development and help households become more sustainable in areas such as remote working and reduced commuting.
Attending the announcement, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: "Siro's investment is very positive in terms of creating greater access to reliable fibre broadband for more towns across Ireland. "
“Creating a fully connected Ireland is a fundamental objective of government, achievable through partnership between public and private funded operators, such as Siro, working together to reach this goal.”
Siro chief executive John Keaney described it as a landmark announcement not just for the company, but also for Ireland, "as our network will play a fundamental role in a regional renewal and helping households be more sustainable."
“Connecting over two million people as part of a gigabit society matters because it means that more people have the option of working from home, with less cars on the roads and families able to spend more quality time with each other,” he said.