Tallinn, 18 July 2017
Minister for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Seán Kyne TD today, in Estonia, signed the 5G Declaration for Europe along with colleagues from all EU Member States.
Minister Kyne and Minister Pat Breen were attending an Informal meeting of Ministers for Telecommunications and Competitiveness respectively.
The ground breaking joint session of Ministers discussed next steps for the European Digital Single Market, including future 5G policy and building a data economy for Europe.
The 5G declaration of intent confirms the willingness of EU Member States to position Europe as a global leader in digital. 5G is the future network infrastructure which will allow for the level of connectivity required to support new digital services, such as smart homes and smart agriculture, which will harness data to boost efficiencies. Such services will have the potential to transform how we live and work in the future.
Speaking in Tallinn, Minister Kyne said, "Ireland is firmly committed to rolling out future 5G, most recently demonstrated by the successful completion of the 3.6Ghz band auction, which has the potential to support 5G services. This places Ireland at the forefront of Europe in terms of being able to harness the opportunities that 5G technology can present in the future.
Coverage and Connectivity are core issues in the Declaration and Ireland believes strongly in connectivity for every citizen, as evidenced by our National Broadband Plan which aims to ensure high speed broadband for every home and business in Ireland. With its extensive geographic spread, this network will support the future rollout of 5G on a wide geographic basis, supporting backhaul for mobile markets.
"The Government is working to ensure that the roll-out of 5G is on a geographical basis and not a population one so that all communities across the country will benefit from the advantages that 5G will bring."
At the Joint Session of Ministers, which earlier discussed the data economy, Minister Kyne also emphasised the importance of removing unnecessary rules which result in businesses having to locate data centres in numerous countries to meet local laws:
"Removing these data localisation restrictions across Europe will remove barriers to doing business across borders and boost competitiveness, particularly for start-ups and SMEs in Ireland and around the EU. Ireland strongly welcomes the Commission's intention to legislate later this year on this very tangible and real problem of data localisation restrictions. These restrictions directly affect European business opportunities so it is important that the upcoming legislative proposal be ambitious if we are to enable a digital single market in Europe."