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The Irish government must do more to increase high-speed broadband coverage in order to keep up with its neighbours, it has been claimed.

According to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, nations such as France, Germany and the UK are rolling out super-fast broadband at a faster rate than in the republic.

Such countries are also making more progress on the delivery of new technologies such as 4G mobile broadband, he stated.

Mr Schmidt did however say that Ireland can quickly catch up, should the government redouble its efforts and provide more funding for telecoms infrastructure.

"There are very few things that are better use of your money than long-term infrastructure in IT that serves the interests of the citizens of the country," he stated.

Small businesses in particular need additional support getting online, Mr Schmidt said.

He claimed that Irish companies are some way behind where they need to be in terms of making the most of broadband technology.

Earlier this year, BT claimed that the cost of equipping every Irish community with broadband services may be less than originally estimated.

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