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Irish national broadband plan promises higher speeds for all

Communications Minister Pat Rabitte TD

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Consumers to double online spend

Irish consumers are set to double the amount they spend online within the next five years, but only some of it will find its way to Irish retailers

The Irish Government is investing 175m in its national broadband strategy announced Communications Minister Pat Rabitte TD.

Delivering a Connected Society A National Broadband Plan for Ireland, it aims to facilitate the provision of high speed broadband to every home and business in Ireland over the lifetime of the Government. The Minister said in Croke Park today that he wanted everyone in Ireland to have access to at least 30mbps download speeds no matter how rural their home or business. In addition Im setting a higher target of at least 40mbps for many areas outside the cities. Despite the pressure on Government finances we will invest public funds so as to make sure more thinly populated areas are not left behind. Internet connectivity is now as important for both employment and society as electricity has been for the last 60 years

We will also do everything in our power to facilitate commercial investment so that speeds of up to 100Mbps are offered to as many households as possible. The faster speeds will come from ongoing industry investment, the release, this year, of spectrum for 4G mobile services and from State investment to address market failure, he explained. The plan outlines measures to facilitate the delivery of broadband speeds of between 70 and 100 megabits per second (Mbps) on a commercial basis, to roughly half of the population It also announces the Governments intention to develop an intervention to deliver minimum speeds of between 30 and 40 Mbps to the other 50pc of the population which would not be achieved on a commercial basis.

Dublin, Wicklow and Carlow are the best e-counties

Dublin has been found to be the county that has most harnessed the internet for economic growth, being named the top Google eCounty in Ireland, followed by Wicklow and Carlow. To establish the winners, Google looked at Irelands 26 counties and ranked each in terms of their AdWords customer growth coupled with the number of local businesses which embraced the Getting Irish Business Online initiative over the past year. Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD announced the winners at Googles offices today. He said: A report published by Boston Consulting Group makes clear that small businesses with a website grow faster than businesses without a web presence. It is important that we promote the benefits of getting online to SMEs and businesses across Ireland. Dublin, Wicklow and Carlow are setting the example for other counties to follow. Businesses and public sector agencies in these counties are reaping the economic rewards of being online. Simon Bolger, director, EMEA online partnerships, Google said: We might have expected Dublin to be top of the eCounty ranking but its interesting that two less industrialised counties Wicklow and Carlow are ranked 2 and 3 respectively, beating larger counties such as Cork. It reflects what we have seen in other countries where we presented these awards, that when it comes to the Internet, anybody, almost anywhere, can boost a business by going online. Before the end of the year, Google is going to visit some of the counties which are ranked outside the Top 10 in this years eCounty Awards holding workshops for local businesses to meet with Google experts who will give them advice on getting online.

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