The telecoms unit is being set up on the back of work with the Connect research centre to ‘better deliver innovations’ in high-growth tech areas.
Dublin City Council (DCC) has set up a telecoms unit dedicated to speeding up the roll-out of 5G and maximising the potential for economic growth in the city.
The DCC telecoms unit will support the delivery of telecoms above ground and underground. It will also ensure that the council’s capital investments and infrastructure projects are future-proofed.
Owen Keegan, DCC’s chief executive, said that digital connectivity infrastructure continues to play “a critical and increasingly important role in Dublin’s economic development” and having the right type of connectivity is “essential” for the city’s competitiveness.
“We are entering a new era of super connectivity with the emergence of fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks. Local authorities have an important role to play in supporting the roll-out of these networks,” he added.
“Telecoms infrastructure is now seen as an essential utility just like water and electricity. Dublin as Ireland’s capital city needs to position itself as a leader in digital infrastructure to realise its potential and support the connectivity needs of residents, businesses and communities.”
The unit is the culmination of work with Connect, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for future networks and connectivity based at Trinity College Dublin, and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP).
Founded in 2016, TIP is a consortium of hundreds of companies working to accelerate the deployment of open and disaggregated networks and high-speed wireless connectivity.
The new telecoms unit will help DCC meet its obligations under the European Electronic Communication Code. Its members will work alongside DCC’s Smart City team to make sure that there is an associated innovation work programme that will leverage corporate investments.
Prof Dan Kilper, director of Connect, said that the DCC’s “vision and leadership” in its telecoms and Smart City programmes have already received “global attention”.
He added that the launch of the dedicated telecoms unit would strengthen this impact and enable the council to “better deliver innovations and build the workforce in these high-growth tech areas”.
Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphries, TD, said the new unit is a sign that DCC recognises that deploying telecoms equipment in the public realm is a “complex task that needs an expert coordinating body”.
“I am sure that many local authorities, urban and rural, will follow the progress of the DCC telecoms unit with great interest,” she added.
DCC’s Smart City strategy has already seen it develop partnerships with a range of tech stakeholders from SoftBank to Vodafone.
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