FTTB provider SIRO is offering free gigabit connectivity to businesses in Ireland as part of a new initiative to boost competitiveness outside the country’s big cities.

Qualifying businesses and start up hubs can receive a 1 GBps connection free for two years, the company said.

The 15 towns covered by the offer include Dundalk, Cavan town, Carrigaline, Sligo, Letterkenny, Wexford town, Drogheda, Portlaoise, Castlebar, Mullingar, Newbridge, Ennis, Ratheniska, Tralee and Carlow town.

SIRO is a joint venture between Vodafone and regional electricity provider ESB created in 2014.

The €450 million project aims to cover 500,000 premises in Ireland by the end of 2018 using the electricity network to deliver pure fibre broadband.

As of March 2017, SIRO has reached 64,000 premises passed.

SIRO is being offered to other companies on a wholesale basis.

In December, SIRO signed an agreement with BT Ireland to allow the latter to offer corporate, public sector and wholesale customers access to SIRO’s 1 GB Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) local-access network.

Sean Atkinson, SIRO Chief Executive, said: “Strong, consistent connectivity will not only help attract new businesses to regional Ireland, it will also help Ireland’s young people create a future in the towns they call home instead of being forced to move abroad.”

Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary 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.”

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