Why fibre speed is a real economic need.
JOBS & INVESTMENT: If Ireland is to reap the rewards of the global digital revolution it is imperative that the nation is crisscrossed with a state-of-the-art fibre network that will support fixed and wireless broadband service to businesses and consumers. Fibre access will be critical to sustaining multinationals that have located here as well as enabling local SMEs to trade on an equal footing with overseas competitors. Broadband access will also be key to allowing individuals to set up their own businesses from any location in the country. For example, the first 27 towns to get Metropolitan Area Networks grew their share of foreign direct investment (FDI) from 24pc to 90pc in the initial four years.
EDUCATION: The importance of broadband to education cannot be underestimated. Along with ICT in the classroom, a whole world of learning could be opened up to students, enabling them to research projects, collaborate and engage in communications with other schools. But it must go further than that. All students should have these facilities in their homes as well and a digital curriculum must be deployed with input from all teaching professionals. To begin with, the Government must press ahead with its plan to put 100Mbps broadband in every school by 2012.
By John Kennedy
www.digital21.ie – Digital 21 is a campaign to highlight the imperative of creating an action programme to secure the digital infrastructure and services upon which the success of our economy depends.