Communications Minister Eamon Ryan TD said that almost €1.5bn in public and private money has been invested in broadband infrastructure for Ireland in the last three years.
In a speech made at the Shanghai Expo this week, Ryan quoted ComReg figures which state for the first three months of this year, total internet subscriptions stood at 1.6 million, with broadband subscriptions at 1.5 million.
This represents an increase of 19pc on the same period in 2009.
“When I entered Government, around 600,000 people in Ireland had internet access – now, we have grown to a point where well over 1.5 million people in Ireland now subscribe to a service,” Ryan said.
“This success is down to progressive policy on the part of Government and significant investment by the private sector. In the last three years, almost €1.5bn of public and private monies has been invested in Irish broadband,” he said.
The €1.44bn investment is broken down as follows: in 2008, €516m was invested, in 2009, €700m was invested and the National Broadband Scheme to bring broadband to rural areas involved an investment of €230m.
“Almost every week, we hear of a new announcement of higher speeds and better services for Irish customers. The Government’s National Broadband Scheme will deliver broadband to every part of Ireland by autumn this year, three years ahead of the EU target.
“The cable operator (UPC) is investing in 100Mbps speeds, and in the last days, Eircom announced it is trialling speeds of 150Mbps.
“Broadband growth in Ireland continues apace – further schemes, and further investment will only serve to ramp up this success,” Ryan said.