First customer goes live in BT/SIRO Network Interconnect agreement
Pictured: Peter Evans, Strategy Director, BT Ireland; Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland; Sean Atkinson, SIRO CEO; and Ronan Whelan, Commercial Director of SIRO
Following the announcement of a network agreement late last year, SIRO and BT Ireland today announced the successful completion of its first ‘live’ trial, with a customer’s home in Carrigaline, Co. Cork connected to SIRO’s 1 Gigabit broadband network.
The customer is the first to benefit from the network interconnect agreement which combines BT’s leading edge national fibre network and SIRO’s 1 Gigabit Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) local access network. The trial is significant in that BT and SIRO have now laid the foundations for multiple retail partners to extend their reach across Ireland and offer greater choice and competition in the broadband market.
BT’s unique position in the market as an access network aggregator means that it can complement its own extensive local and global fibre network with last mile fibre access services from several other communications companies, the Government Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) and now SIRO.
This provides BT with widespread availability of access networks upon which it delivers its domestic and global networked IT services and solutions. Communications companies, including rural fixed and wireless broadband providers, can now also benefit from the widest choice and reach of access networks in Ireland through interconnecting its network with BT.
Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland, added: This is an exciting development in our journey with SIRO and we are delighted to reach a point of live trialling the technology and creating greater opportunities for our wholesale customers. In partnering with SIRO, we are taking the complexity out of matters for our customers, acting as a single point of contact for communication providers to gain access to the best technology available on the market.
Commenting on the announcement, Ronan Whelan, Commercial Director, SIRO, said: Our partnership with BT highlights how we are driving competition in the broadband market by ultimately enabling regional broadband providers to offer 1 Gigabit broadband services powered by SIRO to their customers, without having to make significant investments in building a fibre network. As a result, this development will lead to increased choice for consumers by providing a platform for small and large operators to compete in the broadband market.
With over 80,000 premises passed in 17 towns, SIRO is Ireland’s largest Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) operator – the gold standard for broadband connectivity internationally. Using the existing ESB network, SIRO is delivered by fibre optic cables all the way to the building. This technology, known as Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB), has no copper connections at any point to slow down the network and delivers 1 Gigabit download and upload speeds. When downloading a high definition film of 4 gigabytes with a 10 Mbps connection, the average download time is an hour – with SIRO it takes approximately 30 seconds
The first phase of the fibre roll out is currently ongoing with SIRO on schedule to connect over 500,000 homes and businesses across 50 regional towns. SIRO is building in 17 towns across the country – Dundalk, Cavan, Carrigaline, Sligo, Letterkenny, Tralee, Wexford, Drogheda, Westport, Portlaoise, Castlebar, Mullingar, Newbridge, Ennis, Ratheniska, Carlow and Skibbereen. The agreement with BT is of strategic importance as it will enable both national and regional broadband providers to access services via BT without having to invest significantly in capital infrastructure. Three of SIRO’s existing retail partners – Carnsore Broadband, WestNet and Rocket Broadband – are regional broadband providers offering services powered by SIRO in Wexford town and Castlebar.