International declaration on future of Internet Economy signed by Minister Ryan

19 June, 2008

Communications Minister Eamon Ryan, T.D. today signed the OECD Ministerial Declaration on the future of the Internet Economy at a Ministerial meeting in Seoul, Korea.

The meeting, which occurs every 10 years, brings together civil society, industry and policy makers from across the world to map out the future direction of the internet.
The declaration aims to promote the ongoing convergence of digital networking devices, applications and services. It aims to foster creativity by protecting the open source and open access characteristics of the internet. It sets out policies to strengthen security on the internet so that it can become a truly global economic and social infrastructure.

Speaking from Seoul, Minister Ryan said "Discussing these issues with my Ministerial Colleagues and leading companies in the internet economy has confirmed my view that competition between different platform providers is the key driver in delivering internet access networks. Clearly, those countries which have the most open access networks will be the most successful in a new digital economy. Such open access is a crucial issue in the creation of an environment which encourages the development of new digital services to the public.
Ireland can be promoted as a leading internet economy by providing flexible and ubiquitous connectivity to the internet. As a location for 210 international ICT companies and with 600 of our own software enterprises, such open access connectivity could set us up as a test location for new digital internet technologies.

Competition is working for us, as can be seen from the statistics published by ComReg yesterday showing we have passed two broadband milestones. We now have one million broadband subscribers and for the first time we have surpassed the OECD average on broadband penetration.

Ten years ago the internet was sometimes called the information superhighway. This analogy still applies today with a recognition that the roadway must now extend into every byway of Irish life.

I am looking forward to building on this declaration as we develop a creative information strategy for Ireland."

This event was organised in recognition of the increasingly critical role of the internet to our economies and societies as a powerful driver of innovation, growth, and productivity as well as an opportunity to significantly improve performance in environmental, heath care, education and other public service areas.

Senior OECD official and Conference organiser, Mr Andrew Wyckoff, paid tribute to Minister Ryan's "shining contribution" to the conference and welcomed his call to "creatively harness the internet - the internet of things as Minister Ryan described it - to address our environment challenges".

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