Dana Strong CEO of UPC Ireland_2We are in conversation with Dana Strong, CEO of UPC Ireland ahead of Cable Congress 2013.

Is there anything that makes the Irish cable market stand out from others in the wider European market? What about the similarities? I am pleased to say that the Irish cable market has become a stand out in the Liberty Global family due to our recent extraordinary growth. We are currently topping the LGI charts in terms of growth – being the fastest growing company in the group in 2011 and second fastest in 2012. Our growth clearly demonstrates that Irish consumers and businesses have recognised the benefit of superfast broadband coupled with value based bundle pricing.

In regards to similarities, as with other markets in Europe, cable is leading the way for next generation broadband investment and driving broadband innovation, awareness and adoption.  In Ireland, UPC has been the leading investor and innovator in fixed Irish infrastructure over the past few years. We have invested €500M upgrading our network to world class standards, and this is contributing to national competitiveness and overall economic progress.  On foot of our investment, broadband adoption in Ireland has grown from 437,000 of the population in 2006 to 1.1million in 2012. We see this kind of trend all over Europe where cable innovation is driving more adoption as well as more investment right across the other industry sectors.

Can you tell us a bit about the importance of investing in next generation broadband to keep these positive trends on track? There is no doubt that network investments from cable operators across Europe provide a strong foundation for economic growth and recovery. We recently commissioned a study, The UPC Report on Ireland’s Digital Future (available at www.upc.ie/digitalindex) which covers digital trends across all consumers and businesses (not just UPC customers).  It identifies how Irish society and the economy are embracing the digital revolution and how our digital lives will evolve in the future.

The research shows the extraordinary impact that digital growth has on a local economy. At present, the internet economy accounts for roughly 3% of Irish GDP however, research shows that this is set to double to 6% or over €11B over the next four years. Using the Booz & Company Digitisation Index, the UPC Report estimates that this could translate into employment of 18,000 or more if Irish society and industry can keep pace with the digitisation levels of our EU neighbours and particularly our UK and Scandinavian counterparts.

Recent research by the McKinsey Global Institute examined the internet economies of G8 nations as well as those of Brazil, China, India, South Korea and Sweden. This study shows…

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

CABLE CONGRESS 2013

Dana Strong is joining Rosalia Portela of ONO, Annet Aris of Kabel Deutschland, Sanoma and Adjunct Prof. INSEAD, Berit Svendsen of Telenor Norway and Miranda Curtis of Liberty Global in the Panel Discussion: View from the Top, moderated by a CNN news anchor, Nina Dos Santos. View the latest agenda here.

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