IE Domain Registry has announced a new ‘Digital Town’ initiative for Internet Day 2018 which will be celebrated in Ireland on 25 October.
The company, which manages the .IE national domain for Ireland, has selected Gorey, Co Wexford, as this year’s Digital Town. The Digital Town initiative seeks to highlight the economic, social and cultural benefits of the internet to towns across the country, and to ensure SMEs and local economies are realising the full potential of the digital age, particularly e-commerce.
Gorey has been chosen for its achievements in cultivating a truly digital environment in the town, and for its ongoing successes in fully embracing digital for its residents and for local business. IE Domain Registry believes that through showcasing its efforts, Gorey can inspire Irish towns to begin their journey to becoming fully digital.
IEDR data shows a 29% growth in new .IE domain registrations in the town in 2017 and this growth has continued through the first half of 2018.
Bringing local towns online
Ireland’s e-commerce economy is worth €12.3 billion, but just 3 in 10 SMEs (30%) can take sales orders, and even fewer can actually process payments for transactions through their website (26%). Almost two-thirds (61%) of SMEs do not promote their services online and just 1 in 10 SMEs have taken part in a digital skills training or business funding programme.
The benefits of being online apply to the whole of society; businesses, community groups and citizens. Adding digital capabilities can bring great benefits to all aspects of an Irish town. They can transform the delivery of public services, making it possible to do more with the same available resources. They can enhance a workplace experience, to one that moves beyond slow paper-based processes and office systems and allow workers to be more productive and work remotely from anywhere.
From a social perspective, connecting people through digital fosters a sense of community and positivity, with research showing that 78% feel more connected and 80% feel happier when using digital technology.
Gorey, Digital Town 2018
Gorey has already made significant strides in cultivating and encouraging digital transformation.
Over the next four weeks, IE Domain Registry—working with Wexford County Council, tech co-working space The Hatch Lab, and Gorey Chamber of Commerce—will plan and oversee a number of initiatives aimed at showcasing Gorey and developing additional digital skills and know-how for the people and organisations of the town.
This work will culminate in the official launch and celebration of Internet Day 2018 in Gorey town centre on 25 October. Now in its fourth year, Ireland’s Internet Day aims to promote awareness, knowledge, use and understanding of the internet among citizens, businesses and communities.
Commenting today, David Curtin, Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry, said: “We are delighted to celebrate Ireland’s fourth Internet Day in Gorey, Co. Wexford, a town that is actively embracing digital and the possibilities of the internet.
“Gorey has made significant advances in cultivating a digital environment. The arrival of high-speed broadband in the town has stimulated a significant increase in digital activity. This includes the launch of the tech co-working space, The Hatch Lab, earlier this year. Gorey Chamber of Commerce is taking a leadership role and has been pro-active in driving many projects to develop the digital economy, including actively promoting the ‘de-commute programme’ and encouraging enterprise investment in the area.
About International Internet Day
International Internet Day is celebrated worldwide every year on 29 October. Since 2005, the day has been celebrated to commemorate a momentous day in the history of telecommunications and technology: the sending of the first electronic message—the characters ‘L’ and ‘O’ of “LOGIN”—from one computer (in UCLA) to another (in Stanford) in 1969, by Charley Kline, a student programmer at the UCLA.
Find out more about Ireland’s Internet Day, at iedr.ie/internetday.