Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Fine Gael TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Heather Humphreys, has unveiled the Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre (CITC), which encompasses Cavan Enterprise Centre, as the next location to be part of Vodafone and SIRO’s national Gigabit Hub Initiative, which offers a 1 Gigabit broadband connection to qualifying business hubs free of charge for two years.
As the fifth Hub to receive the award, CITC joins the Ludgate Hub (Skibbereen), Tralee HQ (Tralee), Dundalk RDC (Dundalk IT) and The Mill (Drogheda) which have all been connected to the SIRO 100% fibre-optic network.
The Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, which was the first hub connected by SIRO in July 2016, is an ‘exemplar project’ that was shortlisted for the European Commission Broadband Awards in 2016 and is on course to create 500 jobs over the next five years in West Cork.
SIRO’s Gigabit connectivity, which is three times as powerful as the best service in Dublin and 10 times more powerful than the fastest average internet speed in Ireland, gives businesses in the CTIC world-class broadband connectivity allowing them to compete and grow.
CITC was established to promote innovation and technology support in the Cavan and border region by providing local businesses with education, training, technology and facilities needed to support enterprise development and create economic growth, as well as providing a one stop shop for entrepreneurs. State agencies such as the Local Enterprise Office and IDA Ireland are co-located at CITC, with all support and training carried out by the Local Enterprise Office delivered at the centre. The Hub, incorporating Cavan Enterprise Centre, currently accommodates 10 companies which employ over 310 people.
One such company benefiting from the SIRO 1 GB connection is Apridata, which was established in 2014 as a business intelligence and data analytics consultancy. With customers and prospects in locations all over the world, Apridata chose Cavan because of its amenities, quality of life and sense of community. Critical, however, was gaining access to high-speed broadband which is fundamental to the company’s success and allows it to do business and connect with customers across the world.
In 2015, SIRO selected Cavan as the first town to trial the new technology which saw 300 homes in the Aughnaskerry and Rocklands estates equipped with a 100% fibre-to-the-building connection. The Cavan network now extends to over 4,000 homes and businesses.
Speaking at the launch of the Gigabit Hub in Cavan, Minister for Culture and TD for Cavan-Monaghan Heather Humphreys said: “I am delighted to unveil Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre as the latest Gigabit Hub by Siro and Vodafone. Access to high-speed broadband in today’s economy is as vital to infrastructure as canals and roadways were to businesses in the last century, and this project perfectly complements Government policy of encouraging commercial investment in broadband. The initiative also illustrates how local people and business interests can work together to generate economic activity, and I would like to commend everyone involved for their hard work and commitment.”
Vincent Reynolds, CEO, Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre said: “The unique natural surroundings of County Cavan underpin the success of its living and working communities. Inspiration breeds innovation, which, in the right environment, breeds success and this was the motivating factor behind the establishment of CITC. As a recipient of Vodafone and SIRO’s 1 Gigabit broadband connection, we will be able to further drive innovation and help companies at the centre reach greater heights.”
Liam O’Brien, Director of Strategy & External Affairs of Vodafone Ireland, added: “The Gigabit Hub Initiative was created in order to empower local businesses and communities through connected technologies. As the fifth hub, I’m delighted that businesses in the Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre will have access to SIRO’s 100% fibre-optic network. Gigabit connectivity is the starting point in the creation of a Gigabit Society across Ireland which will offer employees a better work/life balance and allow them to pursue their careers in towns across Ireland without sacrificing their quality of life, rather than being forced to move to cities or abroad.”
Stephen O’Connor, Corporate Affairs Director of SIRO, also said: “We are delighted that CITC has become our latest Gigabit Hub, given Cavan’s key role in SIRO’s history. Cavan was our original trial town, when we connected the Aughnaskerry and Rocklands estates back in 2015 and we got a great reception in the town. The SIRO network now extends to over 4,000 homes and businesses in Cavan town which all have access to the best connectivity in Ireland, rivalling international hubs like Hong Kong and Tokyo. Good connectivity is vital for regional towns competing for investment and jobs and having a 1 GB network in the town and a strategic centre like the CITC makes Cavan attractive for entrepreneurs to establish their business or for companies looking to invest.”
Richard Stafford, Founder and CEO of Apridata, said: “CITC’s Gigabit connectivity is a game-changer for Apridata. With customers and prospects in locations as diverse as the Caribbean and Sweden, broadband is critical for our company. For our services, geographic location is not a limiting factor; we can market, sell and deliver digitally with video conferencing playing a vital role in our sales process. To succeed we need the bandwidth in place to ensure we deliver a professional experience – you lose credibility if there’s any lag or if your call unexpectedly drops due to poor broadband. We manage and process large volumes of data and the 1 Gigabit connection provided to us by Vodafone and SIRO enables us to do this productively. As a result, we can deliver services that empower our clients to make better business decisions faster.”
A video of Richard Stafford, Founder and CEO of Apridata, located at CITC, the fifth hub to receive two years of free gigabit fibre broadband from SIRO and Vodafone as part of the companies’ national Gigabit Hub Initiative can be viewed here: