High speed network jobs split between 10 firms

Reports yesterday of significant job creation linked to government investment in a high speed network failed to reveal that the posts are to be split between ten companies and four universities.

The exact number of jobs to be created is also unknown.

The Department of Communications said 140 jobs are expected to be created, but added that this figure may be conservative.

“Indeed, the 140 jobs figure is almost certainly an underestimate, as the potential applications that result from the network become apparent,” a spokeswoman for the Department of Communication said.

The job creation is being linked to the State funding of €5 million for the second phase of an advanced high-speed data network, under the name “Exemplar Network”.

This funding follows €5 million invested in the first phase of the project, a test facility in Park West Business Park in West Dublin. Phase two is to expand the network in the Dublin area.

The department said 30 to 40 jobs are expected to be created InTune, the company behind the technology, while a further 50 research positions will be created as part of the EU Framework Programme in DCU, UCD, UCC Tyndall, and NUI Galway.

It said that the remainder of the jobs will be created by technology and communication companies — EMC, Imagine, BT, IBM, Imagine, eNet, Firecomms, Opennet, and CeltixConnect — when testing their products on the network. Smart Telecom and ESB Telecom are also due to conduct tests on the network.

As with most reports from the Government on job creation, not all recruitment will begin for some time. The department said, “Testing begins almost immediately, so it is expected that recruitment and filling of posts will happen over the next year or so. InTune are currently advertising for new staff.”

It said, “[The] other announcements will be made on the individual websites, over the coming months.”

Communications Minister Eamon Ryan said at the launch of phase one that the network has the potential to create “thousands” of jobs.

“Such is the interest from industry and the arts, today I can say that we are investing an additional €5 million in the Exemplar, which will create 140 jobs in the short term. The further phases of this project have the potential to create thousands more,” said Ryan.

Ryan said, “This Government identified cutting-edge technology with the potential to transform the internet. We invested in it and ensured it was available on an open access basis for all to use.”

InTune’s fibre optic technology is multi-coloured, allowing faster data transfer compared to normal single-coloured fibre optics.

“IBM stated that it will create new employment at its Blanchardstown datacentre, by linking to the Exemplar [Network]. Imagine is also creating a new ‘hot centre’ in Parkwest, right beside the Exemplar test-bed, so that they can trial new products and services,” said the Department of Communications.

IMAGE: Communications Minister Eamon Ryan, photograph by Jason Clarke for the Department of Communication.

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