Broadband consumers in the Republic of Ireland pay the second highest fees, on average, in the EU, marginally behind Belgium and three-and-a-half times that of Poland.
The European Commission has produced an interesting report on the differing digital markets around the EU, showing Irish people pay a bigger price than most for broadband contracts.
By comparing broadband, TV and fixed phone line bundles, on average, Belgian (€69.90) and Irish (€69.20) consumers pay €5 more – at the very least – than people based elsewhere in Europe.
Luxembourg (€64.33), Croatia (€60.46) and Portugal (€56.53) round out the top five most expensive states, with the EU average of €41.77 far below these peaks. UK consumers, should you be interested, pay €35.04.
In the latest Digital Scorecard produced by the EC – which uses data from last October to compile the findings – Ireland ranks 22nd in the whole of the EU for basic digital skills.
Elsewhere, the percentage of businesses in Ireland using key technologies, such as electronic information sharing and RFID, is relatively low compared to the rest of the EU.
However, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom. From a business perspective, Ireland is at the forefront of e-commerce, while companies over here are ranked second overall in terms of social media use.
Interestingly, people in Ireland are bang on the EU average when it comes to frequent internet use, gradually reaching that stage after years of catch-up. Overall, Ireland ranks eighth across the full suite of digital measurements, with broadband coverage – and take-up – both rising in the last year.
“More progress is needed on increasing digital skills and the number of skilled ICT professionals in the economy, as well as in the integration of some digital technologies by enterprises,” reads the report.
Earlier today (25 May), a report on broadband throughout rural Ireland provided a few interesting findings.
Broadband penetration has hit 91pc of Irish suburbs, but just 69pc of its villages. One-in-five people in small towns say they can’t access broadband at all and one-third claim internet speeds can’t even support “all their family requirements”.
Family online, via Shutterstock