Mon, 17 Jun 2019

Ireland and Sweden see benefits of digital infrastructure

Conor Trindle
26 May 2019, 17:12 GMT+10

CO. WESTMEATH, Ireland - Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Sean Canney welcomed King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden to Ireland on Friday as part of their State Visit to Ireland, participating in a seminar on how digital infrastructure is shaping society and industry.

The event, at the Ericsson Software Campus in Athlone, attended by high-level stakeholders from both the Swedish and Irish administrations and telecommunications and digital sectors, featured a robust discussion on the benefits of digital infrastructure and the sharing of case studies on how fibre and 5G technologies can offer new opportunities for businesses and citizens alike. Minister Canney participated in a panel discussion onThe Development of 5G and Fibre and its impact on the society and industry of the future, accompanied by leading figures in the telecoms industry.

"Our two countries have much in common not only in terms of deep historical roots but also in facing our digital future from a broadly shared perspective. The Digital Single Market will deliver numerous benefits to European consumers and businesses; fostering innovation, contributing to the economy and creating potentially thousands of new jobs, all of which will enhance daily life across member states such as Ireland and Sweden," Canney said Friday.

"In terms of the digital economy, the benefits of high-speed communications networks facilitating digitalisation should be felt nationwide in rural areas as much as in urban areas and across all aspects of our social and economic lives. In that regard, the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce, of which I am Chair, is ensuring that solutions are being brought to coverage deficits, and ensuring that when the time comes to roll out the National Broadband Plan, our starting point will not be from zero, but having laid solid foundations we will be further down the road towards a digitally connected Ireland for all."

At the digital event, Minister Canney also held a bilateral meeting with his Swedish counterpart, Anders Ygeman, Minister for Energy and Digital Development, with ther pair addressing digital affairs in Ireland and Sweden against the wider backdrop of European digital discussions.

The seminarHow Digital Infrastructure is Shaping Society and Industrywas held as part of the two-day Swedish state visit, which finished on Friday. The itinerary included renewable energy, digital infrastructure and health challenges.

The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce is a Programme for a Partnership Government commitment to identify solutions to broadband/mobile phone coverage deficits and to investigate how better services could be provided to consumers prior to full build and rollout of the network planned under the National Broadband Plan (NBP) State Intervention. The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce was established in July 2016 arising from this commitment.

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