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Survey suggests poor broadband is hampering working from home

9 Sep 2020173 Views

Employees working from home in rural areas of Ireland may be adversely affected by broadband issues, a new survey by Taxback.com has found.

Many companies are continuing to have teams operate from home in response to the pandemic. Google has said its staff will work from home until at least 2021, while companies such as Siemens and Fujitsu have rolled out longer-term remote and hybrid plans. For employees in Ireland, however, a recent survey by Taxback.com has suggested that poor broadband continues to be an issue for remote workers.

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It asked 2,500 people across the country about their experiences of working from home, and 51pc said they had experienced “technical issues” because of poor broadband. People in rural locations were most affected.

The company’s consumer tax manager, Marian Ryan, said that nationwide restrictions introduced in response to Covid-19 have led to more technology being used by people in their homes.

“As we no longer have the office IT department on hand, or even a colleague who we deem a bit more tech savvy than ourselves to ask questions of when our tech lets us down, we were interested to get a glimpse into how the nation was coping with this adjustment,” Ryan said.

“One area that is really letting many of us down at the moment is poor quality broadband services, which the pandemic has brought into sharp focus. The results are split almost 50/50 between those who say they have experienced issues and those who haven’t, but what is interesting is the breakdown of where those who experience issues are located.

“37pc of those who reported issues were located in rural areas and towns, and a further 14pc were located in major cities. Unsurprisingly, it’s our colleagues who live outside the major cities who are most likely to suffer.”

These findings come just a week after Eir’s announcement that its fibre broadband had reached 2m premises across Ireland, totalling 80pc of the country’s sites. At the time, Eir CEO Carolan Lennon said that “keeping Ireland connected in these unprecedented times has not been easy” and that its “engineers have continued to connect homes throughout this difficult period”.

Issues with connectivity and internet quality perhaps contributed to Ireland’s recent ranking of 28th in the world for digital quality of life, a much lower position than other countries with a similar GDP per capita.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa joined the team as senior Careers reporter in July 2019 with previous experience in science communication and media. With a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication, she is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos.

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