Irish open-access broadband provider SIRO, a joint venture between Vodafone Ireland and the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), has withdrawn from the National Broadband Plan tender process. Announcing the development in a press release, the company said that following a comprehensive review it had been unable to develop a competitive business case to justify continued participation in the bid process. SIRO’s original plan to build a 1Gbps broadband network in 50 regional Irish towns is unaffected by this decision, it noted.
Commenting on the announcement, SIRO’s chief executive Sean Atkinson said: ‘Our decision to withdraw from the National Broadband Plan tender has not been taken lightly. We will continue with our original plans focusing on transforming Ireland’s regional towns, putting them on a par for high speed connectivity with cities like Tokyo and Hong Kong. SIRO’s Gigabit towns will attract investment and job-creation, support SMEs and allow access to new services in education, healthcare and entertainment.’
SIRO’s decision leaves just two companies in the running, namely fixed line incumbent eir (formerly Eircom) and Limerick-based enet.