28pc of dial-up users can’t get broadband – ComReg

1 Mar 2007

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has published data claiming access to dynamic content will be key to boosting internet usage in Ireland but almost one in three narrowband internet users that want broadband can’t get it.

In a set of survey results on Ireland’s adoption, use and experience of the internet, ComReg said that those without an internet subscription are mostly likely to say they don’t need the internet at home or they don’t have the right equipment, such as a PC, to access the net.

The survey showed that 15-24-year olds are the most frequent users of the internet as a creative community medium.

Compared to 23pc of all users, half of 15-24-year olds use websites like Bebo. This group is also the most prolific of internet users groups, undertaking a higher number and wider range of internet activities out of any other age group.

The survey also pointed out that 48pc of internet users use some form of narrowband access while 45pc claim to use a broadband subscription.

However, according to ComReg’s report, 28pc of internet subscribers that use a narrowband subscription such as dial-up reported that they attempted to subscribe for broadband but were told it was unavailable to them.

ComReg’s report also said that 21pc of those without phone lines say they are not getting the lines due to the high cost of line rental. Around 4pc of the people who don’t actually have a phone line are waiting to get one.

IrelandOffline spokesman Damien Mulley pointed out that Ireland currently has the highest line rental in the EU at €24.17, compared with the EU average of €8.

“ComReg has released a report and are once again talking about ways of stimulating demand yet at the same time are trying to bury the fact that almost one in three people on dial-up internet access cannot switch to broadband,” said Mulley.

“IrelandOffline seriously questions the motivations of a telecoms regulator ignoring the plight of a massive proportion of the population and who offers no remedy to their situation.”

By John Kennedy