Digital agenda

What has changed?

  • There is a renewed commitment to implement the National Broadband Plan (NBP).
  • The programme proposes a "single entity" to manage all states communications contracts, including the NBP contract under tender.
  • Cabinet committee to be updated on NBP progress. It remains to be seen how the new structures will work in practice.
  • Establishment of a mobile phone and broadband coverage taskforce within the first 100 days, involving Government Departments (Communications, Environment, and Transport), CommReg and telecoms industry to investigate how to provide better services.

 Positives for business

  • New sources of finance to be examined to supplement offerings to SMEs and startups.
  • Continued support for digital agenda in education e.g. remote learning in classrooms, continuous professional development of teachers, STEM skills, coding at junior cycle, computer science at leaving certificate and technological.

 Outstanding issues and missed opportunities

  • The programme does not explicitly make reference to advancing the digital economy as a strategic objective or an overarching governance structure that engages stakeholders in achieving that aim.
  • There is no explicit reference to the Digital Single Market (DSM), its importance to Ireland or a need to engage internationally on it.
  • Ibec recommends transforming all public services with digital.
  • Ibec recommends investing in our digital security both at a national level and with importance to FDI.

Contact Erik O'Donovan, Digital policy at erik.o'

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