Light Speed

Image4 Finally it’s a reality; a reality that carries a side bar of lots and lots of “No’s”! Light speed broadband with no bottlenecks, no copper cables, no long download times, no live-streaming lags and no other nationwide roll out anywhere else in Europe!
Siro is now delivering a total fibre to building solution to a select few “beta-test” homes and businesses in Dundalk and several other towns, providing them with 1 Gigabit bandwidth, that’s 1,000 Mbps, yes, no typo, 1,000 Mbps, internet access.Image5
Siro is a joint ESB / Vodafone venture that uses ESB’s existing electricity network to carry the new fibre cables direct to the home. Recent months have seen Siro crews adding Siro fibre to ESB poles throughout the town of Dundalk and some surrounding areas. The fibre loops, on ESB poles, waiting to be connected to homes are now a familiar sight as also are a growing number of network hubs.
Siro is going to be an “open access” solution which means that any current broadband service provider can avail of the Siro infrastructure.

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Image3aCurrently Vodafone is the only provider with access to Siro and they recently released their pricing guide with an entry level 350 Mbps costing €40 per month for the first 6 months and 1,000 Mbps costing €90 a month. Speeds of 350 Mbps will be over 3 times faster than what Post Primary Schools can currently avail of. Full Siro availability in Dundalk is promised by March 2016 and the €55 per month offering will be a very attractive proposition to many Primary schools in the town, especially to those who have embraced Tablet technology and are currently experiencing internet access bottlenecks with their current providers.
A friend of mine became Siro enabled last week and I was looking forward to checking out this light speed experience first hand. Before leaving home I decided to run a test download on my own broadband to compare with Siro.
I have decent enough broadband; I recently ran a speed test and I average out around 40 Mbps and my internal Wi-Fi throughput is about 64 Mbps. So I downloaded a 147 Mb test file on my Mac in my own house via Wifi (2.5Ghz); the test download from a Microsoft server took 2 minutes and 22 seconds.
test download
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Then I headed off to my friend’s Siro enabled home to check out the new connection. Vodafone have offered a free 6 month trial of the 1 Gigabit service to a select number of homes and businesses in Dundalk. The new Vodafone router is dual band however I connected my Mac to a network port on the router to avoid any possible Wi-Fi issues.  The speed test returned an impressive 648 Mbps and I’m sure there’s probably room for a tweak or two on the router to hit the magic 1 Gigabit number. newspeed1Since then I have browsed through some discussion forums and found several interesting suggestions on how to accurately test a 1 Gigabit connection; hopefully I’ll be able to post about these tests at  later stage!
As you can imagine the test download was finished by the time I clicked “download” and looked to the corner of the browser to watch the progress bar! The Siro website states that a 4 Gb file will download in about 30 seconds!
Siro is going to be a “game changer” especially in rural areas; there will be no “distance from exchange” issues as there currently is with existing broadband and the latest eFibre broadband. To find out more about the Siro product and roll-out updates, please follow this link.

Siro, ESB and Vodafone logos and associated images are copyright to each company; images were captured by means of screen shots for blog purposes only. Photographs of Siro installation crews are my own.

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