As Minister for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development I signed the 5G Declaration for Europe along with colleagues from all EU Member States at a recent informal meeting of the Competitiveness and Telecoms Council of Ministers.
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, Estonia, I commented that “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.
“The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce, established in July 2016 and co-chaired by my Department colleague, Minister Denis Naughten, continues to work on alleviating telecommunications deficits, particular in rural areas. The Taskforce’s report contains 40 actions which are being implemented to improve mobile phone and broadband coverage in tandem with the National Broadband Plan.”
Read the full text of the joint declaration at https://www.eu2017.ee/sites/default/files/inline-files/Ministerial%20declaration%205G_final_0.pdf