Broadband demand in Ireland flattening out

14 Jun 2012

Subscriptions for broadband in Ireland are holding steady but not showing any significant increase, the latest quarterly report from ComReg reveals. Overall internet subscriptions across the Republic of Ireland were down 0.1pc.

At a time when broadband is becoming a considerable economic enabler – new jobs available from Apple and Amazon for home-shoring workers require 5Mbps and 4Mbps minimum speeds respectively – broadband subscriptions grew only 0.1pc to 1.66m subscriptions at the end of March.

Fueling concerns of an accelerating digital divide between urban and rural areas, the report shows that less than 20pc of broadband subscribers – mostly cable users in urban areas – are getting speeds higher than 10Mbps.

Revenues in the electronic communications industry declined 2.7pc on the previous quarter driven by a fall in mobile sector revenues.

Total voice traffic declined 1.1pc to 4.3bn voice minutes. Mobile voice traffic was down 0.7pc and fixed line voice traffic was down1.8pc.

Broadband situation

A 6.1pc rise in cable and an 8.2pc increase in fibre/satellite subscriptions failed to offset falls in DSL (down 0.3pc), fixed wireless access (down 2.6pc) and mobile broadband (down 1.8pc).

Narrowband internet subscriptions fell 15.1pc in the quarter.

Fixed broadband per capita now stands at 23.6pc .

Across Ireland total broadband per capita, including mobile broadband, stands at 36.3pc.

In terms of consumer adoption of advertised broadband speeds, 19.1pc of broadband subscriptions are in the greater than 10Mbps category.

The highest proportion of customers in the greater than 10Mbps category are using cable broadband, which is only available in large cities and towns.

In terms of TV approximately 79pc of TV homes receive a digital TV service, while 7pc of Irish homes had a DTT service at the end of May.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years