One million ‘left without broadband’.

One million ‘left without broadband until at least 2020 as Government set to announce further delay to plan’

The Department for Communications says the plan will be delivered ‘as quickly as possible’

The Government is expected to announce a delay to the National Broadband plan that will leave a million people without access until at least 2020.

The plan has apparently been hit with yet another blow after reports that the 2019 connection date deadline may not now be met.

The new rural broadband connections will now not be in place until 2020 at the earliest, according to reports.

A spokesman for Mr Bruton told the Irish Independent: “The target deployment schedule will be published following the conclusion of the ongoing procurement process.

“The National Broadband Plan is a key priority for Minister Bruton and this Government.” Ireland lags behind 25 other European countries for average broadband speeds, survey reveals. The Government responded to the report by revealing that a new expected delivery date for the plan will be announced “as quickly as possible”.

A spokesperson for the Department of Communications said the target schedule will be published following the conclusion of the ongoing procurement process, RTE reports.

They said that the Government’s priority is to bring that process to a conclusion as quickly as possible. The final tender was received on September 18 from the one remaining bidder and is currently being evaluated. It has been a turbulent few months for the Government’s plan after it was hit by the dramatic resignation of Minister for Communications Denis Naughten earlier this month.

The resignation came after the shock revelation from the Taoiseach that Mr Naughten had met David McCourt for dinner in his home four times.

Mr McCourt is the preferred bidder and the last man standing in the running for the award of the €500million National Broadband Project. Minister Naughten said he was left in an impossible position. He felt that his situation was more about “opinion polls rather than telephone poles” and said he had given his resignation to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Denis Naughten will support government on ‘a case by case basis’ after dramatic resignation. The plan was also shaken at the start of the year after the news that Eir would be pulling out of the tendering process.

Eir blamed the decision to leave the National Broadband Plan (NBP) on “the significant commercial issues and complexity within the tender process, together with growing uncertainty on a range of regulatory and pricing issues that reside outside of the NBP process”.

The company’s board “decided that the risks are too great for its continued participation in the NBP”.

For more details on this interesting story, click here (credit: Irish Mirror).

Irish companies behind on advancements in AI

Irish organisations need to catch up with Europe on advancements in AI

 

Irish organisations are falling behind their European counterparts in the advancement of AI. Research from Microsoft, conducted by EY, has revealed key stumbling blocks within Irish organisations which could threaten successful AI roll out and ultimately, digital success.

Overall the EY report found that 65% of all European organisations expect AI to have a high impact on their core business. However, Irish organisations are falling behind European neighbours in AI implementation and investment. On the flip side, AI in Ireland is ramping up with 75% saying they are in planning or piloting phase.

89% (80% in Ireland) of all respondents expect AI to generate business benefits by optimising their companies’ operations in the future. This is followed by 74% across Europe that expect AI to be the key to engaging customers.

Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland said: “Advancements in AI are creating new opportunities for businesses in Ireland to accelerate innovation and make it more accessible to everyone. Despite the opportunities which AI can unlock, today’s research shows that organisations in Ireland must close the gap with their European peers in adopting AI to digitally transform and enhance their competitiveness”.

For more details on this interesting story, click here (credit: Irish Tech News).