Vodafone and Siro launch ‘gigabit hub’ initiative

Free one gigabit broadband connection will be available in 15 towns across Ireland

“High-speed broadband is vital for regional development, and the Government is delivering on its promise to address Ireland’s connectivity challenges.” Photograph: Getty Images

“High-speed broadband is vital for regional development, and the Government is delivering on its promise to address Ireland’s connectivity challenges.” Photograph: Getty Images

 

Fifteen towns across Ireland will offer local businesses access to a one gigabit broadband connection free for two years.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor will launch what is being billed as Ireland’s first national “gigabit hub” on Monday.

The joint initiative by Vodafone and Siro, its joint venture with the ESB, aims to spark a digital transformation in the 15 towns. It will supply a one gigabit broadband connection – widely viewed as the industry gold standard – to qualifying business, technology and start-up hubs.

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

The two companies said having access to high-speed connectivity would mean that businesses could be based in any location, retain local skills, knowledge and talent, and compete on a level playing field with national and international organisations.

The application process is now open, and will run until Friday, April 21st. Hubs interested in applying can find out more about the initiative and register their interest at www.vodafone.ie/connected-futures

The initiative has been designed to replicate the success of the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, Co Cork, which is powered by a one gigabit internet connection thanks to Siro, the joint venture between the ESB and Vodafone.

Commenting ahead of the launch, Ms Mitchell O’Connor said: “High-speed broadband is vital for regional development, and the Government is delivering on its promise to address Ireland’s connectivity challenges.

“Having opened the Ludgate Hub last year, I have seen the economic and social benefits that gigabit connectivity has delivered to Skibbereen. Vodafone and Siro’s gigabit hub initiative will replicate this success in 15 locations across Ireland, helping to attract jobs, investment and start-ups to each town.”