Broadband holds up business

IEDR Chief Executive David Curtin
IEDR Chief Executive David Curtin

Nearly 20 percent of Ireland’s offline SMEs are being stymied in their efforts to build a website or engage in e-commerce because of a poor internet connection.

That’s according to the latest edition of the dot i.e. Digital Health Index published by the IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the company that manages and maintains Ireland’s country domain, .i.e..

It found that 14 percent of Irish SMEs rate their internet connection as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ – a figure that rises to 25 percent in Connacht and Ulster.

Despite these issues, almost a third (32 percent) of Irish SMEs want more digital skills and e-commerce training.

To remedy this, IEDR is recommending the rollout of a cross-industry digital skills programme for micro-businesses that have begun their digital journey, but need help to access Ireland’s growing e-commerce market; as well as a Local Enterprise Office-run ‘buddy system’ that pairs up businesses with digital experts in their local area.

Ireland’s share of the European e-commerce market is €9 billion and is expected to grow to €14 billion by 2021.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.