Irish Internet economy to generate 150,000 jobs by 2020

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Irish Internet economy to generate 150,000 jobs by 2020 - Research carried out for UPC by Amarach Research has found that up to 150,000 new jobs could be created through the Irish Internet economy by 2020 as a result of continuing uptake of broadband services and the overall digitisation of society, industry and commerce in Ireland.

The second UPC report on Ireland’s Digital Future forecast to growth in the Internet economy from its current level of €8.4 billion a year to an estimated €21.1 billion (10% of GDP) by 2020 with consumer spending contributing close to €13 billion (60%) of this figure, up from €6 billion a year in 2014.

The report also found that while Irish consumers are voracious consumers of online products and services, as much as 60% (€3.5 billion) of their current spending goes abroad, despite local businesses forecasting that 21% of their sales will be through online channels by 2020 and 53% admitting to being influenced by feedback posted online.

There is good news for Ireland in terms of broadband speeds in comparison to other EU member states. In the two years since the first UPC Report, 30% of Irish adults are now subscribing to broadband speeds of 30Mb/s or higher – compared to just 10% in 2012 – which places Ireland ahead of the EU-28 average of 18.2%. Some 44% of Irish homes can access speeds of up to 200Mb/s.

UPC chief executive Magnus Ternsjö (pictured) added: “Ireland ranks highly among the world’s most digitally advanced economies. The country performs well within the average standards in Europe for Internet adoption and well beyond the average standards for higher Internet speeds. Investment in digital infrastructure, products and services is strong and is equally matched by the skills to use them.

“A quarter of Irish enterprises don’t have websites let alone any trading capacity online. In the essential SME and SOHO [small office/home office] sector of the economy, that is about 47,000 businesses who are missing out on the digital opportunity.

“Focused education and assistance need to be provided to Irish businesses to enhance their online capabilities. The Trading Online Voucher Scheme requires greater awareness and promotion. Tax reliefs would possibly make an impact with a fixed deadline for Irish businesses to urgently increase digital presence.

“If society and industry can keep pace with the digitisation levels of our world peers then this will benefit national prosperity and public wellbeing.  We need to ensure nobody is left behind and the widespread benefits that digitisation brings can be enjoyed by all.”

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