Rabbitte reveals report of Next Generation Task Force (video)

2 May 2012

Here’s a video of Ireland’s Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte’s speech as he launched the first report of the Next Generation Task Force. In July Minister Rabbitte intends to reveal a new national broadband strategy.

Speaking today Minister Rabbitte said that the telecoms industry has assured him that by 2015 some 50pc of homes in Ireland will be capable of receiving 70Mbps up to 100Mbps broadband services. However, as those speeds will be considered average internationally by then work needs to be done to ensure that the other 50pc of homes and businesses will not be on the wrong side of a catastrophic digital gulf.

“Industry is telling us that by 2015 more than 50pc of the population will have access to very fast broadband – at least 70 Mbps,” Rabbitte stated today.

“We can also expect that most of the rest of Irish homes will be able to access broadband which, by today’s standards would be considered very good quality.  However, we face a major challenge because 15-30pc of the population will continue to have basic broadband service only, as the case for commercial investment in rural areas is very challenging.

“Our challenge is threefold: firstly, make it easier for the private sector to invest in rollout, secondly encourage citizens and businesses to go online and thirdly address infrastructure deficits.  This is essential work to boost Ireland’s competitiveness,” the Minister said.

Comms Minister Pat Rabbitte launching the Report of the Next Generation Broadband Taskforce 

As well as Rabbitte, the members of the taskforce include Dana Strong, CEO, UPC Ireland; John Shine, deputy CEO, ESB; Paul Donovan, CEO, Eircom/Meteor; Robert Finnegan, Hutchison Whampoa/3 Ireland; Jeroen Hoencamp, CEO, Vodafone; Aidan Dunning, secretary general, Department of Communications; Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd, TD; Sean Bolger, CEO, Imagine; Tony Hanway, CEO, Telefónica O2; Conal Henry, CEO, E-net; Colm O’Neill, CEO, BT Ireland; and Katherine Licken, assistant secretary, Department of Communications.

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