The government has approved the first Digital Connectivity Strategy for Ireland, delivery of which has been led by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.
Ireland is committed to a fast-paced digital transformation. The availability of high-speed, reliable, digital connectivity will support the delivery of Ireland’s economic and social ambitions, and will position Ireland at the forefront of European and global digital developments.
The Digital Connectivity Strategy sets out a number of ambitious targets, including that:
- All Irish households and businesses will be covered by a Gigabit network no later than 2028.
- All populated areas will be covered by 5G no later than 2030.
- Digital connectivity will be delivered to all schools and broadband connection points by 2023.
All sectors will be armed with the connectivity needed to fully exploit digital opportunities, leading to more balanced regional development, while supporting the green transition. The strategy facilitates greater access to regional talent and skills, and supports the implementation of government priorities such as ‘Our Rural Future: Rural Development Policy 2021-2025’, ‘Making Remote Work: National Remote Work Strategy’, and Project Ireland 2040.
Digital connectivity is also a pre-requisite for the delivery of social dividends, ensuring that disadvantaged groups are not left behind and can fully embrace digital opportunities.
The strategy will be achieved through:
- The implementation of the National Broadband Plan
Commercial investment in Gigabit services
- The implementation of the National Cyber Security Strategy.
- Ensuring that international connectivity infrastructure to and from Ireland is resilient, diverse and robust.
- The transposition of the Communications Regulation Amendment Bill.
- The implementation of the actions of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce.
Commenting on the consultation, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, Ossian Smyth, said, “this strategy sets out our path to reliable high-speed internet access all over Ireland by 2028. We are making a massive investment of State and private money in technology and infrastructure so we can all work, study and access entertainment and information wherever we live. This will ensure Ireland’s future as a great place to live and to do business.”
A public consultation on the draft Digital Connectivity Strategy took place between February and October 2022. All submissions were fully considered by the department and several suggestions were included in the final strategy.
The Digital Connectivity Strategy for Ireland can be accessed on the department’s website.