Government urged to deliver high speed broadband in southeast
The Regional President of Ibec South East and General Manager Rosslare Europort John Lynch has, in advance of a new national broadband policy statement, called on the Government to deliver high speed broadband to all parts of the South East by 2020 or risk businesses in the region being left behind.
'Despite significant investment by the private sector some 43 per cent of commercial and residential premises in Wexford do not currently have access to high speed broadband. This has huge repercussions for the region in terms of job creation, social inclusion and competitiveness,' said Mr. Lynch. 'Small and medium-sized firms without high speed broadband are unable to compete on a level playing for the estimated €5.9bn currently spent online annually by Irish consumers.
'This has forced some SME's to relocate, but this isn't an option for many Ibec members, particularly those in the hospitality sector. It also impacts on the thousands of people who work from home or who need high speed broadband in their homes to connect with colleagues overseas in different time zones and out of hours.'
Mr. Lynch said the reality is that without high speed broadband significant parts of the South East risk being left behind.
'That is why it is imperative that the Government commits sufficient funding to deliver high speed broadband in our region by 2020 wherever it is uneconomic for the private sector to do so.
Mr. Lynch's comments follow earlier remarks in which he said the region was in danger of getting left behind.
'We are writing to every T.D. in the region to highlight this issue and to ask them for their support.
'Ireland is on the way back, but not all parts of the country are feeling the benefits.. the South East is still playing catch-up,' said Mr. Lynch, 'we need a regional forum for local stakeholders to work together in building the skills of the South East.
'Unemployment remains far too high and those out of work are not always getting the right training to help them back to work.
Employment is up 23,000 since 2012, but the unemployment rate remains two per cent above the national average,' said Mr. Lynch.
'We have some high quality colleges and institutes of technology, getting them cooperating and collaborating better with businesses is crucial.
The proposed technological university.. offers considerable scope to improve how business and higher education institutions work together.'