Digital NI 2020 – Kelvin +
February 12, 2010
In November we held the Monetising Kelvin event – the goal was to enlist active support to ensure we exploit to the full, the opportunities provided by the investments in communications infrastructure in NI. The completion of the Kelvin deployment, with a service go live date in March is a major addition to this infrastructure as it provides direct, high speed connectivity to North America and completes in some sense the external communication connectivity for NI. The feedback from the event was very positive and over the Christmas/New Year period, we have been in contact with a range of interested parties and have put forward a study proposal which will in effect produce as its output the plan for the next 2 years to accelerate realisation of the full range of benefits which can be accrued from Northern Ireland’s world class communication infrastructure.
Access to a high speed, high capacity, secure and robust communications infrastructure is one of the key enablers for a knowledge economy and indeed any 21st century national economy which has ambitions to grow and prosper in the decades ahead. It allows businesses to interact, it provides access to world markets, it enables active collaboration across a range of fields, improves and reduces the costs of health services, provides a platform for education and upskilling and has the potentially to generally improve a nation’s quality of life. Big claims I know, but none the less true. But none of this will happen without a proactive approach to grasping and exploiting the opportunity we have before us. In the weeks and months ahead, a number of initiatives will be launched, with the support of the Digital NI 2020 project. It is not a substitute for action on behalf of businesses, communities and individuals, rather it is there to help all of these entities launch their projects and encourage them to set high ambitions and then strive to exceed these.
In the weeks ahead we will be launching a blog, which I hope will become a multiway dialogue. This communications platform can serve all of the areas of Northern Ireland, and working in collaboration with the platform in the Republic of Ireland make the island of Ireland a first choice destination for global knowledge businesses, and the envy of the world in terms of health and education services.
In the words of one of the most famous French writers of the end of the 19th century, « To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe ». This is the challenge – to the deliver the dream of a connected world, with Northern Ireland acting as one of the leading hubs.