Friday 20 September 2019

Council will host IT event this May

THE BOROUGH Council has agreed to host a major IT conference to coincide with a proposed €10 million investment by Eircom in new broadband technology in Wexford.

The idea has come from Fine Gael councillor Jim Allen, who asked the council to set up a special committee to promote Wexford as a ' technology town' in order to maximise the economic and tourism benefits of the planned broadband system.

The committee would investigate smartphone apps, Facebook promotion and Wifi hot spots, and would negotiate with Carlow IT on the provision of educational opportunities geared toward the smart economy.

Cllr Allen told a Borough Council meeting he believed the Eircom investment to be a unique chance for Wexford to have a economic advantage over other counties in the south east.

'We need to maximise this benefit for the people of Wexford and to make Wexford attractive for technology-driven companies to move here. December unemployment figures show there are 1,391 unemployed people under the age of 25 in Wexford town out of a total of 6,892. This is a desperate statistical fact that gives little or no hope for future employment.'

Having been involved in the technology industry for over 20 years, Cllr Allen believes that a co-ordinated approach by the Council, in conjunction with the business community, would bring enormous benefits.

He proposed that the council host a one-day conference in May and invite guest speakers and representatives of the IT business community to come together to work out a digital strategy for Wexford.

The motion was unanimously supported by his fellow councillors, including Cllr George Lawlor (Labour) who said the Eircom investment represented a second chance at high-speed broadband that Wexford should grasp with both hands.

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