A technology expert speaking at the Irish Future Internet Forum, has announced that the Internet in Ireland is rapidly approaching overload.

According to the expert it was not designed to handle the number of people currently using it.

Miguel Ponce de Leon, of the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) made his comments at the third annual meeting of the Irish Future Internet Forum in the Kilkenny Parade Tower. Ponce de Leon is chief technologist with the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) in WIT.

He went on to say that it is critically important for Ireland to engage fully in the conception and development of the future Internet to ensure growth of the country’s ICT sector, according to RTE reports.

He said “In the current economic climate, Ireland is facing a crucial junction in the path of future Internet development, research and education.”

“A thriving IT sector has been created in Ireland, but without further investment in more advanced infrastructure and services we could adversely affect the growth of new industry and direct investment.”

He added “The next wave of business, consumer and industrial technologies will be dependent on future Internet technology…One of the most crucial examples is the 'smart energy' grid. Our current electricity infrastructure is ‘dumb’ - it pumps out a constant flow of power in all directions.”

The event was attended by 100 delegates including Minister of State, Fergus O’Dowd, TD who spoke at the event.

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Fergus O'Dowd TD, Minister of State, Department Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, pictured with Miguel Ponce de Leon, chief technologist, TSSG, at the Irish Future Internet ForumSilicon Republic