SME representative body calls for nationwide fibre network

16 Feb 2006

The representative body for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Ireland, Chambers Ireland, is calling upon the government to invest in the deployment of a nationwide fibre-optic broadband network. Chambers Ireland says the new infrastructure, which it estimates will cost a minimum of EUR2 billion to build, should be available to all homes and businesses in the Republic, and argues that the investment would underpin the country’s future growth as a knowledge economy. According to, Chambers Ireland director of policy Seán Murphy said: ‘The current debate on broadband is focused on how Ireland lags behind its international competition for its telecommunications capabilities. Not only does this ignore the fact that we use higher standards to define broadband than our European counterparts, it also misses the real argument which is that we are not being ambitious enough in our broadband plans.’ In essence, while Ireland is currently striving for a 1Mbps network, the needs of the Irish business community have already exceeded this low threshold and future requirements, including those for consumers, veer more towards systems that can deliver downstream/upstream speeds of 10Mbps-100Mbps.