18 May 2018
Minister for Communications Denis Naughten TD has today welcomed the publication of the European Commission's annual Digital Economy and Society Index and Report (DESI) 2018 which shows Ireland has improved its overall ranking to 6th place in the EU, up from 9th place in 2017.
Minister Naughten said: "It is significant that Ireland's ranking has risen to 6th most digitally-advanced society in the EU and is in the highest-performing cluster of countries. The fact that Ireland has also considerably improved its performance in terms of connectivity - now ranked in 11th place among EU countries, compared to 15th place last year - demonstrates the clear progress we are making. Ireland's coverage of fast broadband has grown to 89%, well above EU average, and we have also made inroads on take-up.
In order to improve high speed broadband access across Ireland, particularly in rural areas, my priority remains delivering the Government's National Broadband Plan. My Department is in a formal procurement process to select a company to roll-out a new high speed broadband network in the State intervention area and this procurement process is now in its final stages.
The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce in the meantime, is making considerable progress in removing barriers to investment for telcos, as it continues to identify and implement solutions to improve broadband and mobile coverage services for customers in the short term. Ireland is a leader in several digital areas including the Trading Online Voucher Scheme which is empowering our SMEs to get online and trade online to capitalise on today's digital opportunities."
Europe's Digital Economy and Society Index and Report 2018: link
DESI report telecoms chapter: link
DESI 2018 Country report Ireland: link http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/newsroom/image/document/2018-20/ie-desi_2018-country-profile_eng_B4406C2F-97C3-AA9A-53C27B701589A4F3_52225.pdf
Note to Editor:
The Digital Economic and Society Index (DESI)
The Digital Economic and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index which provides a summary of relevant indicators in relation to Europe's digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness. The DESI report tracks the progress made by Member States in terms of their digitisation. It is structured around five chapters: Connectivity; Human Capital; Use of Internet Services; Integration of Digital technology; and Digital Public Services. The DESI was re-calculated for previous years for all countries in order to reflect changes in the choice of indicators and corrections to the underlying indicator data.
Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands have the most advanced digital economies in the EU followed by Luxembourg, Ireland ( in 6th place, behind Luxembourg and ahead of the UK), the UK, Belgium and Estonia. The Index indicates that Romania, Greece and Italy have the lowest scores on the DESI.
In 2017, all Member States improved in the DESI. Ireland and Spain progressed the most (close to 5 points as opposed to an EU average of 3.2). On the other hand, there was low increase in Denmark and Portugal (under 2 points).
National Broadband Plan
The Government's National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to ensure high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location. The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector. Today, almost 7 out of 10 of the 2.3 million premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband. By 2020, 9 out of 10 premises will have access to a high speed broadband connection. This is being achieved via a combination of commercial investment and a State led intervention.
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is in a formal procurement process to select a company that will roll-out a new high speed broadband network in the State intervention area. That procurement process is now in its final stages.