Ireland's internet economy to treble to €21.bn
A NEW report predicts that Ireland’s internet economy will grow from its current level of €8.4bn to an estimated €21.1bn by 2020.
The report, launched by cable operator UPC and research firm Amarach, predicts up to 150,000 new jobs from what it calls the Irish internet economy. It says that consumer spending will make up 60pc of this surge in online activity.
The report found that 60pc or €3.5bn of Irish spending currently goes abroad.
The report also found that 30pc of Irish adults now subscribe to broadband speeds of 30mbs or higher compared to just 10pc in 2012. It found that 44pc of Irish homes can access speeds of up to 200mbs. However, it also found that 23pc of Irish people have no idea what broadband speed they get at home.
The report claims that 60pc of parents have installed parental control software which blocks or filters certain website types.
It also found that Irish businesses expect 21pc of their sales to be online in 2014, putting Ireland ahead of the EU average. Meanwhile, 53pc of Irish firms say they are influenced by online feedback from consumers and customers.
However, just 75pc of Irish businesses have websites according to the report. Over half of Irish businesses said they plan to sell to more customers outside of Ireland by using the internet over the next two years.
“If we can capture the opportunity presented by digitisation, then this will contribute strongly to jobs and economic growth,” said Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, commenting on the report. “The Government is fundamentally committed to the expansion of high speed Internet accessibility for our population and this is the agenda we are pursuing through the National Digital Strategy and National Broadband Plan.”