27 Mar 2017 | 09.55 am
Free 1GB Broadband For Business Hubs
Vodafone and SIRO scheme launched for 15 towns
27 Mar 2017 | 09.55 am
Vodafone and SIRO have launched a new initiative that offers business hubs in 15 towns around Ireland the chance to access 1 Gigabit broadband free for two years.
The Gigabit Hub initiative will offer the superfast broadband connection to qualifying business, technology and startup hubs free of charge for two years. It is currently open to hubs based in Dundalk, Cavan town, Carrigaline, Sligo, Letterkenny, Wexford town, Drogheda, Portlaoise, Castlebar, Mullingar, Newbridge, Ennis, Ratheniska, Tralee and Carlow town.
Applications are now being taken for the initiative and will continue to be taken until April 21. Hubs interested in applying can find out more about the initiative and register their interest here.
This initiative has been designed to replicate the success of the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, which is powered by 1 Gigabit internet connection through SIRO, the joint venture between the ESB and Vodafone.
Highlighting the challenges facing rural business, Vodafone research undertaken in late 2016 with businesses based at Ludgate, found that nearly two-thirds (62%) said that faster broadband and mobile phone coverage would enable them to expand their business, with the majority saying that they intend to employ more people on a full or part-time basis in the next 12 months as a result of super-fast broadband. However, nearly seven in 10 (69%) said that slow and unreliable speeds prevent them from working efficiently and hold back their potential for growth.
Anne O’Leary, chief executive of Vodafone Ireland, said: “When we helped to launch the Ludgate Hub last year, we wanted to establish a blueprint for other towns across the country to replicate Skibbereen’s success, which if mirrored, has the potential to create and secure thousands of jobs in rural Ireland.
“We now want to encourage communities in these other towns to follow Ludgate’s lead and leverage Gigabit connectivity to boost the local economy.”
Sean Atkinson, SIRO CEO, added: “As Ireland’s largest fibre-to-the-building provider, we are delighted to be helping to revitalise towns across Ireland. “The Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen illustrates the digital transformation that our 100% fibre-optic broadband network can spark and our Gigabit Hubs initiative will open up a new world of possibilities for the 15 towns involved,” he said
Photo: Sean Atkinson, SIRO CEO, with Vodafone Ireland chief executive Anne O’Leary (right) and jobs minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor