Irish Government Launches Exemplar Network

30 companies line up to use the high-speed, high-quality digital network - 140 jobs to come from Phase 1 alone.
“The future of the internet is here”
Minister Ryan.

Traffic on the internet is doubling every 2 years. The Exemplar Network solves the problem of costly bottlenecks of data, opening up a world of possibilities for future applications on the internet.

Last July the Government launched its ‘Technology Actions to Support the Smart Economy’ report. This ground-breaking report included 6 actions to help Ireland jump ahead of our competitors in the digital economy. One of the actions promised was the development of the Exemplar Network. Today, Phase I of the Exemplar is up and running in its test bed facility in Parkwest, Dublin.

The Government has already invested €5 million in the network. Today, Minister Ryan announced his intention to provide a further €5 million in additional investment.

Over 30 companies and institutions have signed up to use the Exemplar network to test their products and services and conduct research. These include: BT, Imagine, EMC, Celtix Connect, IBM, Smart Telecom, e|Net, Opennet, ESBTelecom and Firecomms. Four of Ireland’s universities UCC Tyndall, NUI Galway, UCD and DCU will use the facility, as will Science Foundation Ireland.

The Exemplar Network can be used to create virtual data centres and to facilitate cloud computing. High quality data and image transfer also allows for multi-site simultaneous broadcast of arts events. The Exemplar technology was used to broadcast a Snow Patrol concert in St. James’ Church in Dingle last year with a live, high definition stream to a number of locations. Many of the applications of this network are as yet unknown.

Philip King, presenter of Other Voices said of the Snow Patrol streaming in Dingle, “The content delivery over the optical burst packet switched fibre network guaranteed uninterrupted premium quality content – something which was previously unachievable. The establishment of the Exemplar Network will allow Other Voices in 2010 to expand the delivery of high quality content directly to consumers outside of the Dingle area.”

“The future of the internet is here”, said Minister Ryan, “and it’s being developed in Ireland”.

“There are those who believe Governments are not innovators, that we are technology takers, not leaders. Today, they would see gathered in one room leading international businesspeople, academics and artists. Everyone here today understands that this is a breakthrough moment for Ireland. 

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. 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.

The new economy is digital, green and smart. The Exemplar network is all of these and with human ingenuity its future applications are endless”.

Phase II involves the construction of an active test ring around the Dublin metropolitan area and will commence next year. The final Phase beginning in 2013 will see the Exemplar as nationwide infrastructure.

Tim Fritzley, CEO, Intune Networks, the developers of the technology said: “The launch of the Test Bed marks a significant milestone in the Exemplar project and we are proud that the Test Bed has been built on Intune’s high performance optical packet switch and transport platform - Verisma.

“With the Test Bed complete the opportunity now exists for leading companies, academic institutions and arts based organisations, amongst others, to begin to develop on the network. This early test work will happen while phase one of the project continues with the Exemplar Network being built out in the Dublin region. The early commitment from an impressive range of leading organisations at this early stage of the project underscores the potential impact of the Exemplar Network.”

Brian O’Donoghue, Managing Director of Imagine Communications Group said, “WiMax and Exemplar can create a partnership to propel Ireland towards new job creation by inward investments and enable operators to set up world class businesses across Ireland. We are now witnessing Ireland’s transformation to the forefront of the digital technology revolution”.

Diane Hodnett, Managing Director of Celtix Connect said, “The future of the internet is about low latency, i.e. speed, driven by consumers requiring real time information, communicating in real time and using speed as a competitive advantage to conduct business. The environment and service providers who can deliver on this will be at the forefront of a truly digital economy. The deployment of the Exemplar network, coupled with the new CeltixConnect sub-sea cable, will deliver on this and will foster a massive growth in technology based industries and employment, be they content, media or financial, with Ireland as the hub. This is a ground-breaking development which must be applauded and driven by service providers and government alike to promote at home and abroad”.