The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), released yearly, is a composite index which serves to summarise Europe’s digital performance and track the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness. The index is structured around five principal dimensions; Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet, and Integration of Digital Technology.
This year’s good news is that overall, Europe is progressing. The EU as a whole attained a score of 0.52 in 2016, up from 0.50 last year. However, member states are at different stages of development.
The Index has categorised member states into different ‘clusters’. Ireland is grouped with ‘lagging ahead’ countries – those that score above the EU average, but whose score grew slower than that of the EU over the last year. Whilst highlighting improvements, the results released last month also show that the pace of progress is slowing down. Action is needed, at all levels, to remove the obstacles which prevent Ireland from fully benefitting from digital opportunities – especially with regard to quality and affordable broadband connectivity for all.
Ireland has some catching up to in terms of digital access; taken as a proportion of income, prices for fixed broadband in Ireland are almost double the EU average. In terms of cost, fixed broadband prices in Ireland have gone up, putting Ireland in 23rd place out of the 28 member states.
At Host Ireland Business Broadband, it has been our goal to reduce the cost of enterprise connectivity, and to significantly increase broadband speeds across Ireland. As price leaders, we recently reduced the price of 1GBPS dedicated enterprise connectivity to 40% of what our competitors are charging.
Ben Kitchin, director of Host Ireland, says: “We are categorically slashing the price of connectivity in Ireland. To date there has been a snobbery amongst larger telcos for entry level services & this needs to change. I want to make dedicated enterprise connectivity available to all Irish businesses and I won’t let high industry prices be a deterrent.”
We have invested heavily in our network over the last 24 months and are now reaping the benefits in terms of quality service and 24/7 technical support. Kitchin states: ‘’Businesses need low latency connectivity to run CRM systems, VOIP platforms & trading applications. This is where our optimised routing tables provide our customers with a superior level of service. Customers need exceptional level of service from experienced engineers – this is paramount for an enterprise level service.”
Host Ireland Business Broadband, Business at the Speed of Light.
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