Has Ireland really passed the one million broadband user milestone?

11 Sep 2008

According to the latest quarterly report from ComReg, if you count in mobile broadband, the total number of broadband subscribers at the end of June in the Republic of Ireland stood at 1.05 million people. Excluding mobile broadband, the total was 832,590 subscribers.

The news was hailed by the Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan TD as evidence that competition in the telecoms market is finally beginning to work.

“Exceeding one million broadband subscriptions is undoubtedly a huge achievement,” the Minister said. “We are definitely making great strides in broadband penetration in Ireland and continue to grow.

“Equally encouraging is the growth in mobile subscriptions, which demonstrates the popularity and ease of access to these technologies. Mobile subscriptions grew by almost 400pc in the year to June 2008 and we now have over 220,000 individuals subscribing to mobile broadband throughout the country,” Minister Ryan explained.

According to ComReg’s quarterly report, the percentage of broadband penetration per capita now stood at 24.2pc.

Local loop unbundling grew during the period to a total of 19,568 local loops unbundling, up a ponderously slow 4pc since the previous quarter.

Incumbent operator Eircom’s share of the fixed-line market has remained static during the quarter at 68pc, but is down a percentage point year-on-year.

Excluding mobile broadband penetration, the broadband penetration rate actually stands at 19.2pc.

Mobile penetration across Ireland now stands at 120pc, with mobile subscriptions growing by 56,000 during the second quarter.

Irish consumers spent more time on mobile phones than on fixed-line telephones during the second quarter, with mobile phone traffic totalling 2.8 billion minutes while fixed line traffic totalled 2.3 billion minutes.

By John Kennedy

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