e|net, the company which holds the concession to manage, maintain and operate the State’s Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) programme across 93 cities and towns, has welcomed the call by the Government’s Innovation Taskforce to make significant further capital investment to upgrade Ireland’s broadband network and have called for urgent identification of the source of funding.
Today’s report from the Innovation Taskforce, which was set up to advise the Government on its strategy for positioning Ireland as an International Innovation Development Hub and to assist in making the Smart Economy a reality, calls for major investment in upgrading Ireland’s broadband capability.
Conal Henry, chief executive of e|net, said “This report further strengthens the already very strong case for prioritising significant further investment in Ireland’s broadband infrastructure. It’s also clear that this investment needs to commence immediately – the longer we leave it the less of a competitive advantage we’ll derive from it.”
“The crucial next step is to clearly identify where funding for these measures will come from. There is already a consensus on a number of investment priorities. The National Competitiveness Council and Forfas have both recommended that new Metropolitan Area Networks in the five National Spatial Strategy centres – Shannon, Ennis, Mallow, Tuam and Castlebar – are built.”
“Developing world class, advanced broadband networks and services is essential if we are to support the development of a strong smart economy in Ireland. Advanced broadband in key regional centres is required to enable many of our main exporting sectors (e.g. ICT, medical technologies, financial services, tourism, international education services) to retain the current levels of trading and to enable them to exploit future growth opportunities.”