Ireland: The Regional Communication Infrastructure Approach Needs to be an International One

Derek Cassidy

By Derek Cassidy
July 22, 2019

There was a time when Ireland was at the centre or hub of international communications. Its international connectivity managed by international and state companies alike, the multiple submarine cable stations along its coast played pivotal roles in the First World War and the other international events around the world. It had a world renowned telecommunications infrastructure both nationally and internationally. Ireland’s role in the development and innovation off communications was seen as leader and innovator within the world of telecommunications. Its industrial development was also leveraged with the deployment and national coverage of its railways, which also acted as conduits for communications infrastructure, as it did in other countries. It hit its height in the telegraph era but soon Its importance in the communications field began to wane, in the 1930s and it was soon seen as a backdrop to the developing world of communication ideas and innovation, although it still contributed and took its part, albeit a minor one.

But soon this was to change when the politics of the day along with its membership of the European Union and its open economy fostered a new understanding that soon developed into the economic revival that we called “the Celtic Tiger”. This followed a new confidence in the country that allowed Ireland to develop into a world economy that thrived. This increased economic growth had positive effects on its society as its industrial, transport and communication infrastructure soon took on a new phase of development.

The development of Ireland’s communications infrastructure soon evolved into one that was seen as an early innovator and leader as Ireland’s telecom incumbent soon had stiff competition from other telecom operators who were developing their own brand of communications and reaching the masses. The introduction of international connectivity soon took hold with new submarine cable links being deployed by five separate operators all competing for business and outdoing the national incumbent with regards to European and international connectivity. Soon Ireland was seen as an international communications hub. However with the Dot.Com boom taking hold and soon retreating again with its implosion in the early noughties. Industrial Ireland did not suffer as much, but its fast paced communication deployment strategy took a setback with the development of communication infrastructure coming to a near halt and the development of new submarine cable connectivity standing still. But it has to be noted that during this time its competitiveness and attractiveness as an industrial nation was still on a growth pattern as the economy continued to grow.

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 107 of the SubTel Forum magazine here on page 18.