Telcos warn post codes essential to future of comms

12 Mar 2010

Independent licensed telecoms providers in Ireland have added their voice to the call to prioritise the introduction of postcodes which will be vital to future GPS and location-based e-commerce services.

“The absence of a postal code system in Ireland has long been an obstacle to our competitiveness and efficiency,” warned Ronan Lupton, chairman of ALTO.

“We would like to add our voice to Chambers Ireland call on the government to support the introduction of postal codes. We urge that Minister Eamon Ryan is ever mindful of the overarching benefits of an effective system and to ensure that this project is brought to a speedy conclusion,” Lupton said.

He said a post code system would help public sector administration cost reductions, Facilitate increased competition in the postal sector; spur job creation, enable precision location specification for emergency services; create a location specification for assessing new business and consumer opportunities and simplify online mapping to support new applications.

The calls by ALTO and Chambers Ireland echo a similar call last week at the Digital Landscape conference at UCD by the chairman of the advisory board of UCD Smurfit Business School Paul Haran.

Haran said postcodes and next-generation GPS systems will be integral to the next generation of consumer and business services and therefore must be addressed.

“Postcodes and GPS are a sensitive piece of infrastructure that while not politically attractive are very important.

“Unless a modern economy can have a modern postal code, we cannot provide a framework for people to develop apps to use as a testing ground.

“Unless we have ministers willing to lead such transformations and address the sacred cows that object, we as a people will not realise the future,” Haran said.

AlTO’s Ronan Lupton said the provision of postal codes would have direct relevance to boosting the health of the Irish telecoms industry in terms of quality of service, the provision of more services, emergency services location data and increased competitiveness in the industry.

By John Kennedy

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