Gigabit Hub initiative supports 650 jobs

SIRO-Vodafone Gigabit Hub initiative provides high-speed broadband connectivity to 1,000 desks in remote and digital working hubs.

As many as 650 jobs in 20 rural locations have been supported by a remote and digital working initiative began by SIRO and Vodafone in 2016.

The Gigabit Hub Initiative (GHI) has reached a new milestone by providing Gigabit broadband connectivity to 1,000 desks in hubs across regional Ireland.

“When this initiative commenced back in 2016, the idea of either full or hybrid remote working was a very novel concept. Today, with more than 25% of Irish workers working in a hybrid way it has become mainstream”

The application process for 2024 is now open and remote and digital working hubs are encouraged to apply. 

Gold standard for broadband

Recognised as the international gold standard for broadband, fibre-to-the-building connectivity is a major factor in helping to attract businesses and remote workers to the hubs across regional Ireland. This in turn creates a virtuous cycle by indirectly boosting investment and creating employment in the local economy.

‘’Since the start of the Gigabit Hubs Initiative we have welcomed the impact the hubs have had and the significant contribution they have made to local economies and the communities in which they operate,” said Vodafone Business managing director Sinéad Bryan said.

“We have seen the initiative accelerate remote working and the adaption of hybrid working models meaning many more people can pursue their careers within the area they are from and can benefit from a better work life balance.

“We are looking forward to welcoming more hubs and seeing the impact they have as the network expands and the initiative continues to go from strength to strength’.”

Since it first commenced eight years, with the ground-breaking Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, 20 remote and digital working hubs have now participated in the Initiative.

Powering the regions

Infographic showing regional digital hubs around Ireland.

Collectively the 20 Hubs now host over 1,000 desks, used by a wider range of businesses from larger more established companies to newly formed start-ups. A wide range and type of companies are now using Gigabit Hubs such as CitySwift, an intelligent transport data platform or TriggerFish Animation based in Galway’s PorterShed and CREW Digital hubs respectively or FRS Recruitment with a regional office in The Cube Portlaoise.

“When this initiative commenced back in 2016, the idea of either full or hybrid remote working was a very novel concept,” said SIRO CEO John Keaney.

“Today, with more than 25% of Irish workers working in a hybrid way it has become mainstream. High quality, fast and reliable fibre broadband is the key enabler to this behaviour shift.

“Digital hubs across Ireland are bringing hybrid working to a higher level. Focused not just on creating effective workspaces, but as enterprise centres for start-ups to grow and thrive, where companies can cross collaborate or by providing educational opportunities, they are having a huge effect on their wider communities.

“SIRO is pleased to have contributed through this Initiative, in a small but impactful way, to the dynamic hub sector in Ireland, and we look forward to working with many more hubs in the years ahead,” added Keaney.

Hubs that have benefitted from the Initiative include:

  • Dundalk Regional Development Centre at the Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT);
  • The Mill, Drogheda’s first purpose built innovation hub for the accelerated creation of new enterprises in the South Louth, East Meath and Drogheda areas;
  • The Ludgate Hub a digital initiative first of its kind in rural Ireland and an exemplar project recognised by the European Commission;
  • THE CUBE, a  Low Carbon Centre of Excellence dedicated to support and assist a transition to a low carbon economy for County Laois;
  • CREW Digital, a new enterprise space for businesses in the creative digital enterprise sector.

Main image at top: At the opening of Galways PorterShed a Dó,  Vodafone Network Director Sheila Kavanagh, Vodafone Ireland CEO Amanda Nelson and SIRO Director of Corporate Affairs Amanda Glancy

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.