Virgin Media expands reach with new Siro partnership

Virgin Media is expanding its TV and broadband reach to a further 450,000 homes in Ireland through a deal with fiber broadband company Siro.

The agreement gives Virgin access to Siro’s 450,000-strong customer base, most of which are located in areas not served by Virgin’s cable or fiber network.

It’s the first time Virgin Media has landed a major TV and broadband deal with a competing network.

It also means Virgin, whose TV market share has shrunk in recent years, will now be able to market its services to over two-thirds of the country’s population.

Siro is a joint venture between ESB and Vodafone created specifically to provide a dedicated fiber optic broadband network to major Irish cities and underserved areas.

It says it intends to eventually expand its network to 770,000 buildings in 154 cities.

As a wholesale network, it has 20 retailers who resell its broadband services to residential and business customers. Last year it launched Ireland’s first two gigabit broadband service.

The move comes after National Broadband Ireland (NBI) recently announced that one in five households accessing the government-subsidized service has become a subscriber.

NBI recently saw its two main shareholders – London-based Oak Hill Advisors and US investor Twin Point Capital – strike a deal to sell their nearly 80 percent equity stake to Madrid-based Asterion Industrial Partners.

Details of the price it is paying for Oak Hill’s 49 percent stake and Twin Point Capital’s 25 percent stake were not disclosed.

The Spanish investment company, which recently closed a €1.8 billion financing round, specializes in European infrastructure, investing in technology and telecoms in the UK (MS3), Spain (Olivenet) and Italy (Irideos).

Virgin’s move comes amid ongoing speculation about Virgin Media’s future, with ongoing speculation linking Liberty Global’s Irish asset to a Vodafone merger.

“At Virgin Media we are continually pushing the boundaries of speed and service delivery to our customers,” said Tony Hanway, Chief Executive of Virgin Media.

“Today’s announcement increases the reach of our network to 70 per cent of all locations in Ireland.

“Our new partnership with SIRO means we will bring our market-leading ultra-fast broadband and TV services to more Irish consumers and businesses than ever before.” Virgin Media expands reach with new Siro partnership

Fry Electronics Team

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