Every town and village in Ireland could have free wi-fi within five years
That’s if Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, has his way.
Telecommunications was a central theme in Juncker’s 2016 State of the Union address in Strasbourg this week, where he emphasised the importance of high-speed internet due to digital technologies and digital communications are permeating every aspect of life.
“All they require is access to high-speed internet,” Juncker said.
“We need to be connected. Our economy needs it. People need it. And we have to invest in that connectivity now.”
To that end, Juncker outlined European Commission proposals to fully deploy 5G, the fifth generation of mobile communication systems, across the European Union by 2025, potentially creating a further two million jobs in the EU in the process.
Juncker also proposed equipping every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centres of public life by 2020.
The National Broadband Plan, meanwhile, delayed until the summer of 2017 due to the tendering process, promises to deliver broadband speeds of at least 30Mbps between 2017 and 2022.
Together with Juncker's proposals, that should ensure that all of Ireland will have access to a better standard of internet within the next five to six years.