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Posted: 16 April 2007

UCD professor chairs national policy debate on the future of Irish broadband

Prof Paddy Nixon, Professor of Distributed Systems, UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics chaired a recent policy-focused debate on Irish broadband which took place in Dublin. The outcome of the debate, "Ireland's Broadband Future: Policy for the Next Generation," will inform Forfás' ongoing review of Ireland’s long term broadband needs and implementation requirements. Forfás is Ireland's national policy and advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation. It operates under the auspices of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

The debate which was officially opened by the Minister for Communications Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey TD and Martin Cronin, CEO, Forfás, was attended by national policymakers from the communications industry and enterprise.

At the event, which took place on 5 April 2007, a number of international speakers outlined developments in Next Generation Networks (NGNs) and the policy approaches taken in other countries. Speakers included KPN’s John Quist who spoke about NGN deployment in the Netherlands and Jaroslaw Ponder, Policy Analyst and manager of projects at the Strategy and Policy Unit at the International Telecommunications Union (SPU/ITU). Professor Peter Cochrane, Telecommunications Futurist discussed Future Broadband Trends and Implications. Dr Eoin Gahan of Forfás looked at policy options for the next generation.

“Other countries are moving ahead” said Minister Dempsey. “We have to act smarter and faster if we are to have a state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure in place in this country to continue on the path of economic and social prosperity.”

“A small open economy like ours will only continue to prosper if we leapfrog from our current position to being on a par with the best of our international competitors,” continued Minister Dempsey. “Without a world-class telecommunications sector we will not continue on the path of prosperity. We must progressively move to an IP based Next Generation Network.”

“The output of the debate will be used to drive the next stage of government policy on this area”, said Professor Nixon. The National Advisory Forum on Telecommunications announced by the Minister earlier this year will examine the outcome of the debate. This Forum is due to report on best next steps by the end of 2007.

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