Broadband woes stifle Irish engineers’ competitiveness

9 Feb 2011

Some 69pc of engineers said their companies cannot compete effectively at international level as long as Ireland’s broadband connection is below the EU average, research carried out by Ipsos MRBI shows.

The research was released ahead of a seminar, ‘Focus on Future Technologies’, on Monday, 14 February, to mark the start of Engineers Week 2011, which runs until Sunday, 20 February.

The Ipsos MRBI research also found that 73pc of engineers said that, despite the current fiscal constraints, the Irish Government needed to introduce tax incentives to support the development of technologies that would enable Ireland become a world leader in key sectors.

Ireland still lags behind EU average for broadband

“Ireland has clearly improved its broadband capability but the latest figures from Eurostat show that Ireland still lags behind the EU average,” said John Power, Engineers Ireland director general.

“The engineering sector in particular needs a communications infrastructure that will support our ability to compete and our capacity to pursue export-led growth opportunities. This Ipsos MRBI data indicates there are genuine concerns across the engineering industry in this respect.

“When you see a country that we are trying to emulate, like Finland announcing that access to a broadband internet connection should be a human right, it’s clear we have a lot of ground to make up,” Power said.

The seminar on 14 February, beginning at 9am, will focus on the information and communication technologies needed to meet the future vision of modern, efficient, attractive and dynamic societies.

There will also be an emphasis on transport infrastructure and a presentation, ‘Dublin’s Integrated Ticketing Scheme – the Implementation Challenges’, by Tim Gaston, Railway Procurement Agency.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years