Industry and Government move to fix PC malaise

1 Sep 2006

The Irish Government has finally joined forces with the ICT industry to find ways of encouraging greater use of personal computers in the home. PC penetration in Ireland has been static at 55pc, well below the European average, according to CSO statistics.

The Department of the Taoiseach met with Intel and IBEC lobby group ICT Ireland yesterday to find ways of developing computer competence in the community sector.

The end result, it is hoped, will be greater ICT skills amongst Ireland’s workforce.

“There is a great opportunity for both the technology sector and society to benefit from the development of a meaningful home computing initiative [HCI],” explained ICT Ireland director Kathryn Raleigh. “If we are to develop a true knowledge society, and continue to be seen as a centre for excellence in technology, we need to close the gap between business and civic society.

Raleigh said that according the latest CSO statistics, just under 55pc of Irish households have a home computer, compared to 82pc in Sweden, 62pc in the US and 64pc in the UK.

“The initiative will aim to address our poor rating by providing equitable and meaningful access to technology in the home, so we can ensure that all citizens progress in the knowledge society,” Raleigh said.

Earlier this year, the Taoiseach signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Intel Ireland to work together to stimulate greater participation in the knowledge society. The Taoiseach stated that, under this understanding, both Intel and his department would work with other industry players to explore how a HCI might be launched.

“The home computing initiative is a strong indication of the commitment from the Irish Government and industry to investigate and support ways to increase internet and PC penetration,” said Colin McHale, sales and marketing manager at Intel Ireland.

By John Kennedy