Political debate heats up in Ireland’s parliament over broadband provisioning.
The Irish Government’s failure to provide high-speed broadband access to the Internet has led to Ireland falling behind countries like Ethiopia in terms of broadband roll-out according to Ireland On-Line.
Labour Party spokesman on communications Tommy Broughan drew attention to the fact that Ireland had fallen behind most European countries and a number of African nations.
“Earlier this year New Scientist reported that Ethiopia has launched an ambitious plan to wire the whole country for broadband Internet within three years.
“By next November the government in Addis Ababa expects to have up to 500,000 broadband connections to homes and businesses – a greatly superior roll-out to Ireland’s” he said.
Broughan added that Ireland will fall out of the top 30 countries for broadband provisioning which could have dire economic consequences.
Ireland’s failure to implement a comprehensive broadband strategy could be disastrous for both inward investment and attracting foreign businesses stated Broughan.
“Nearly every target set by Government for broadband has not been met, as the vast majority of Irish Internet users are forced to use antiquated modes of dial-up technology,” Broughan reiterated in Ireland On-line.
South Africa faces similar struggles but government has woken up to the need to remedy this situation.
President Mbeki’s state of the nation address touched on the need to improve broadband services and a recent Department of Communication colloquium opened the forum to tackle telecommunication challenges facing South Africa.