SIRO, a joint venture between Vodafone and Irish energy provider ESB that operates fiber to the building (FTTB) networks in Ireland, says it has secured €620 million from the European Investment Bank and a syndicate of lenders from Ireland and elsewhere.
The funds will be used to expand the company’s FTTB footprint by 320,000 homes and businesses and enable wider deployment of 2-Gbps broadband services.
The additional premises to be attached to the FTTB network thanks to the cash infusion will expand SIRO’s planned roll outs to 770,000, representing more than 2.1 million people in 154 towns, according to the company.
The new funding will bring SIRO’s network spend to €1 billion. The European Investment Bank’s portion of the new funding will be €170 million.
SIRO has launched 2-Gbps broadband service in Kilkenny and expects to be able to offer the service to its current 400,000 premises passed by early 2022.
“This is a landmark announcement not just for SIRO, but also for Ireland as our network will play a fundamental role in a regional renewal and helping households be more sustainable,” stated SIRO CEO John Keaney. “Connecting over 2 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. Similarly, more businesses will be more fully participate in the digital economy, collaborating with clients seamlessly and selling to customers in every corner of the globe. Thanks to our future-proofed network, SIRO will power Ireland’s broadband needs for decades ahead.”