A general election will take place in Ireland on or about Friday, 25 February 2011.
Today (31st Jan) I was invited to a Labour Party press conference the subject of which was of great interest to me.
Development of broadband infrastructure key to jobs and recovery
Issued : Monday 31 January, 2011
Statement by Eamon Gilmore TD
Dáil Candidate for Dún Laoghaire
Speaking at the launch of Labour's Plan for Digital Ireland
Yesterday we launched Labour's plan for promoting job creation and tackling the scourge of unemployment through trade an innovation.
Today we are looking at specific plans we have for delivering growth by developing our broadband infrastructure.
Next-generation broadband is an essential component of our economic recovery. The availability of high speed broadband is crucial for business and job creation, as well as being key to attracting outside investment.
Despite the often touted rhetoric of the Smart Economy, Ireland lags significantly behind the EU and the OECD in many crucial aspects. The failure of Fianna Fáil Governments over the past decade to roll out adequate connectivity has left Ireland languishing well behind our international competitors in the broadband stakes.
Under the watch of the current government, Ireland dropped out of the global top 50 ranking for download speed demonstrates clearly we are being left behind on the smart economy front.
Decent broadband is as important to Ireland in the 21st century as electricity was in the thirties. It is our belief that the basis of a future smart economy and job creation is high speed broadband.
Labour believes that if we are to build a smart economy, then a high-quality broadband system has to be the foundation to it. We are entering an era where many goods will never be manufactured or packaged in a traditional way, the manufacturing of the future will be carried out in an online setting. Our plans today provide a blueprint for building that foundation.