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Response to Government Consultation paper on Next Generation ...

Response to Government Consultation paper on Next Generation ...

OECD broadband

OECD broadband penetration and population densities4035302520151050Broadband penetration, OECD June 2008 Population density, 2006DenmarkNetherlandsNorwaySwitzerlandIcelandSwedenKoreaFinlandLuxembourgCanadaUnited KingdomBelgiumFranceGermanyUnited StatesAustraliaJapanAustriaBroadband penetration (subscribers per 100 inhabitants, June 2008)Population density (inhab/km2, 2006)Simple correlation = 0.21New ZealandSpainIrelandItalyCzech RepublicHungaryPortugalGreeceSlovak RepublicPolandTurkeyMexicoQ4. In the short term (up ong>toong> 2 years) and medium term (in 5 years time) what applications willdrive demand for higher speed broadband and what technologies will deliver them?• In Dublin, large businesses are already examining the opportunity ong>toong> move theircomputer servers ong>toong> managed offsite specialised facilities. These facilities offer savingsand efficiencies when taking account of the cost of city centre office space and theenergy costs of cooling and running these systems. However, such a change requiresbroadband speeds of at least 100 mbps ong>toong> achieve the equivalent speeds of in-houseservers. According ong>toong> our members, demand for this type of outsourcing is also growingwith SMEs.• On-Demand Software is growing in popularity. Though it will not replace completely thelocally licensed software, several member companies involved in the software industryhave indicated that they will be growing this market. The necessary speeds vary, but asmore developed software migrates ong>toong> this method of use, speed demands will approach100 mbps.• The development of new entertainment products, such as High Definition InternetProong>toong>col Television (HD-IPTV), advanced online gaming and new online offerings fromIrish broadcasters, will continue ong>toong> drive consumer demand. Consumers will also drivedemand for greater uploads speed, as the trend ong>toong>ward user generated contentincreases.• Students, whether in the first phase of their education or as life long learners, will drivedemand with the use of interactive platforms and websites for conducting research.• The growth in e-commerce will continue inong>toong> the future and will require greater speed ong>toong>deliver a variety of new services. Ireland is well placed with the high level of tradedservices already located here ong>toong> support the shift by these companies ong>toong>wards a moreonline-centred delivery of service.60050040030020010006

Theme 2 - What will deliver NGB?Q1. Are there obstacles or untapped opportunities that could respectively hinder or helpinvestment in such networks?• Ireland’s telecommunications network is currently reliant on an outdated copper wiresystem. Bandwidth-intensive next generation applications (such as On Demand TV, HD-IPTV, and location-based services) require a network that can accommodate speeds ofbetween 50Mb/s and 1Gb/s. This cannot be delivered through our copper wire system.Without higher speeds Ireland will not be able ong>toong> meet the needs of businesses, let aloneknowledge-intensive ones. YouTube currently uses as much bandwidth capacity as theentire internet did in 2001. This acceleration of bandwidth use will continue apace.• One of the largest problems for providers delivering NGN speed is the local accessnetwork, which connects homes ong>toong> the core network.• The level of competition in the market has been an enabler for the recent growth inpenetration.• Irish companies have demonstrated through a mix of technologies – fixed, fixed wirelessand mobile – how geographic and demographic barriers can be overcome.• The CSO estimated that 58.5 per cent of all households in Ireland had a home computerin 2006, an improvement of only 3.5 per cent from 2005. It is important that this lowrate of home computer access is also addressed, as access ong>toong> a computer is aprerequisite ong>toong> online activity.• ong>Governmentong> should look ong>toong> stimulate demand as a means of encouraging investment inNGN. Take the education secong>toong>r as an example. In light of the plan ong>toong> move ong>toong> the nextstage of broadband connectivity for schools, strong consideration should also be given ong>toong>content and applications that can enhance the learning experience of students. Atpresent, content available ong>toong> Irish students for online learning is poor in comparison withother European countries. This must be addressed if the enhanced broadbandconnectivity that is delivered ong>toong> schools is utilised in the most appropriate way.• ‘Red tape’ hindering the investment, development and maintenance of advancedcommunication infrastructure will continue ong>toong> be a major barrier if it is not addressed. Forexample, providers looking ong>toong> perform maintenance work on the current network mustseek approval through the Local Authorities. Often it is the case that work spans two ormore jurisdictions. ong>Responseong> times, details required and scheduling of work variesgreatly from Local Authority ong>toong> Local Authority and project ong>toong> project. The Department ofEnergy, Communications and Natural Resources should ensure that local authoritiessimplify these processes, improve response times and work ong>toong>gether more closely.Q2. How can these obstacles be overcome and how can the ong>Governmentong> help?• It is imperative that Strategic Infrastructure Act is amended ong>toong> include advancedtelecommunications. This will reduce the high cost for companies wishing ong>toong> invest, byreducing the time it takes for the major trenching work that is associated with NGNinstallation. Crucially, as other economies forge ahead in developing next generationnetworks, Ireland cannot afford ong>toong> risk the kinds of delays that have hindered thedevelopment of infrastructure in Ireland in the past. This action will also make a boldstatement about the value that this country puts on developing next generationnetworks.7

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