Westport’s Leeson Enterprise Centre powered with Gigabit connectivity

WESTPORT’S Leeson Enterprise Centre is to be enabled with a 1 Gigabit broadband connection provided by Westnet and powered by SIRO, the wholesale broadband operator building Ireland’s 100% fibre-optic broadband network.

As a result, the Leeson Enterprise Centre will have access to the same level of broadband connectivity that is typically only available to international companies in cities like Hong Kong or Tokyo.

The Leeson Enterprise Centre is an innovation hub designed to help local entrepreneurs and start-ups in Mayo succeed, with a range of facilities such as hot desks, co-working office space, private office space and meeting room facilities provided at the centre.

SIRO’s Gigabit connectivity, which is three times as powerful as the market leading service in Dublin and 10 times as powerful as the market leading service in rural Ireland, will help firms based in the Leeson Enterprise Centre to benefit from the best broadband network in Ireland and face no restrictions due to poor connectivity when selling their products and services online or using services like video conferencing to communicate with their customers.

Westnet, the Mayo based broadband provider, is one of SIRO’s retail partners and is already delivering a range of 100% fibre optic broadband packages for both residential and business customers in Castlebar and Westport.

Westnet and SIRO have joined forces to provide the 1 Gigabit broadband connection to the Leeson Enterprise Centre for free for a two year period in a bid to help bolster innovation in Westport by making the town more attractive for businesses to relocate to and for entrepreneurs to establish their business in the centre.

Stephanie Colombani, Westport Chamber CEO, said: “Westport is home to a vibrant and innovative business community, with companies in a wide variety of industries from the hospitality to pharmaceutical sectors.

“The beautiful surroundings of Westport make it an idyllic place to live, but also an inspiring place to conduct business. Broadband is vital to all firms whether it is hotels taking bookings or engineering companies sending large files around the world.

“Without high speed connectivity jobs and businesses would not be able to locate to the Leeson Enterprise Centre and would have to relocate to larger cities. Being connected to infrastructure like SIRO’s 100% fibre-optic network is a game changer for us as it is a vital factor in the decision-making process for any company looking to establish itself in Westport.”

Commenting on the announcement, Westnet CEO and co-founder, Paul Cunnane commented: “Having a good broadband service is essential in the modern digital age, so, as a local company, we are delighted to offer The Leeson Enterprise Centre’s businesses broadband that is faster than any other network in Ireland. Gigabit connectivity is the starting point in the creation of a Gigabit Society across Ireland which will offer employees in these businesses a better work/life balance and allow them to pursue their careers in Westport without sacrificing their quality of life, rather than being forced to move to cities or abroad.”

Stephen O’Connor, SIRO’s director of corporate affairs, added: “SIRO’s connection to The Leeson Enterprise Centre is a tremendous boost for Westport as it is already quickly establishing itself as a vibrant start-up location for the West. This forms part of our strategy to revitalise towns across Ireland by sparking a digital transformation, helping to attract investment and encouraging more people to establish businesses in towns like Westport. As our 100% fibre optic broadband network, powered entirely by light, is different and better than any other technology, we have future-proofed Westport’s broadband needs for decades to come and made the town part of the Gigabit society in Ireland.”

SIRO is a joint venture of ESB and Vodafone which is investing €450 million in building Ireland’s first 100% Fibre-to-the-Building broadband network, offering a 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mb) internet connection to 500,000 premises in fifty towns across Ireland. 150,000 Irish homes and businesses now have access to SIRO’s unrivalled broadband.

This is to rise to 230,000 by the end of 2018.

Using the existing ESB network, SIRO delivers fibre optic cables all the way to the building. This technology, known as Fibre-to-the-Building, has no copper connections at any point to slow down the network and delivers 1 Gigabit speeds. For context, downloading a high definition (HD) film of 4 GB (Gigabytes) with a 10 Mbps connection takes an hour - with SIRO it takes 30 seconds.

* Pictured are Brendan Minish, Westnet CTO; Paul Cunnane, Westnet CEO and co-founder; Stephanie Colombani, Westport Chamber CEO; and Stephen O’Connor, SIRO’s Director of Corporate Affairs at the official opening of Westport’s Leeson Enterprise Centre.