A new €14 million investment by SIRO is to be rolled to six new towns in Donegal with the rollout of its Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) broadband network.
Buncrana, Donegal Town, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Ballyshannon and Bundoran are set to benefit from the second phase of the scheme.
The announcement will be made by Minister McHugh at an event at Inishowen Gateway Hotel in Buncrana, held in partnership with Donegal County Council, which also saw KN Networks revealed as SIRO’s construction partner for the project.
It brings SIRO’s total investment in Co Donegal to €25 million, having already made services powered by the wholesale broadband operator available to 11,000 premises in Letterkenny.
Commenting about the Donegal rollout, Minister for Education & Skills Joe McHugh TD said: “The Government has been actively encouraging the private sector to invest in delivering high-speed broadband to regions across Ireland and today’s announcement is an example of that strategy paying off for Donegal.
“The investment by SIRO will see the construction in six towns of a Fibre-to-the-Building broadband network, which is recognised as the gold standard for broadband internationally and is to be applauded.
“Residents and businesses in Buncrana, Donegal, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Ballyshannon and Bundoran will have access to the level of connectivity that is available in Tokyo and Hong Kong, so these towns will stand at the top of Ireland’s broadband league.”
SIRO has also committed to connecting Donegal County Council’s planned Digital Hub in Buncrana as part of Vodafone and SIRO’s national Gigabit Hub Initiative, which offers a 1 Gigabit broadband connection to qualifying business hubs in regional towns.
Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, said: “Broadband is as vital for day-to-day life as electricity and is an absolute necessity for social and economic development in Donegal.
“Following the successful launch of services powered by SIRO in Letterkenny, the Council has worked very closely with the company to encourage them to invest further and expand their rollout to additional towns, as well as committing to powering the Inishowen Innovation Hub as part of the Gigabit Hubs initiative.
“This is a great day for Donegal and we’re very proud to see the Council’s efforts paying off to deliver this milestone.”
SIRO is a joint venture of ESB and Vodafone which is investing €450 million in building Ireland’s first 100% Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) broadband network to 50 towns and city areas throughout Ireland.
Stephen O’Connor, SIRO’s Director of Corporate Affairs added: “SIRO has formed a close partnership with Donegal County Council, which has been critical to adding these extra six towns to our network following our original successful launch in Letterkenny.
“Construction is well underway, with services already live in Buncrana. Simply put, this will have a transformational effect as all 25,000 homes and businesses will have access to Gigabit broadband, which is the international gold standard for broadband connectivity.”