Consumers left in the slow lane when it comes to Irish broadband speeds

14 Jun 201711 Shares

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Image: Diego Shruberry/Shutterstock

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Irish users are being left in the dark about their broadband speeds.

A third of Irish broadband subscribers are getting less than or equal to 30Mbps of broadband speed, less than the minimum target set out in the Government’s forthcoming National Broadband Plan.

That’s according to new research from bill comparison site Switcher.ie, which painted an undesirable picture of broadband in Ireland.

‘Our research shows that many are paying for speeds they are not actually getting, while six in 10 consumers are leaving themselves in the dark because they have never carried out a broadband speed test at home’
– EOIN CLARKE

The site found that little more than four in 10 Irish consumers (44pc) are happy with their home broadband speeds. This is down from 51pc year-on-year.

The average speed has reportedly dropped from 82Mbps to 68Mbps.

According to the study, one-third of customers (34pc) say they have speeds of equal to or less than 30Mbps – the minimum target set out in the National Broadband Plan.

Worse still, 16pc of people say their broadband speed is 8Mbps or less, meaning it would take more than an hour to download a HD movie.

Almost one in 10 (8pc) claim to have speeds of less than 3Mbps, which is not even fast enough to watch Netflix in standard definition. Furthermore, one in three people (33pc) say they have checked their speeds and are sometimes or always getting lower speeds than they pay for.

Significantly, 59pc of customers have never tested their home broadband speed, and 39pc don’t even know what broadband speed they are signed up to.

No dark fibre, just people sitting in the dark

According to Eoin Clarke, managing director of Switcher.ie, most Irish broadband customers are in the dark about their broadband speed.

This means that many are potentially leaving themselves open to getting poor value for money because the higher the speed you have signed up for, the higher the cost of your broadband.

In terms of the 39pc who don’t know what broadband speed they signed up to, 42pc of these assume that they are getting what they pay for.

The state of Irish broadband: Many consumers are stuck in the slow lane

Eoin Clarke, managing director, Switcher.ie. Image: Switcher.ie

“Despite all of the talk about addressing the issue of sluggish broadband across the country, Irish broadband is still stuck in the slow lane.

“In an increasingly digital world, broadband is now considered a household essential, alongside energy, so it’s very disappointing to see a drop in the average speed people say they’ve got in the home, and a corresponding decline in customer satisfaction.

“More worrying still is that our research shows that many are paying for speeds they are not actually getting, while six in 10 consumers are leaving themselves in the dark because they have never carried out a broadband speed test at home.”

Clarke said that broadband speed can be affected by the type of connection you have and where you live. However, he warned that consumers need to be aware that providers advertise their maximum available speed.

He encourages consumers to get into the habit of conducting regular speed checks at different times of the day.

“Checking your broadband speed regularly is simple, quick and free, but is a really important step towards making sure you are getting what you pay for. It will also help you to identify any specific issues affecting your home broadband speed, such as a dip in speed at certain times of the day or with specific devices,” Clarke concluded.

“If you are not getting the speed you are paying for, you should contact your provider as they may be able to help, by either advising you on ways to optimise your speeds, or replacing your modem. If you’re still not happy, it might be time to shop around for another provider who can deliver the broadband speed you need.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com