Home broadband data usage jumped 74pc in Ireland at the start of Covid

11 Sep 2020

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According to ComReg data, nearly 40pc of home broadband subscribers in Ireland now have speeds of at least 100Mbps.

Use of home broadband data was up by nearly 74pc in Ireland during the early months of Covid-19 restrictions, according to ComReg’s latest quarterly report.

On a monthly basis, the average fixed residential broadband subscriber used 326.7GB of data during the period between 1 April and 30 June 2020. This marked a 73.6pc increase on the same period last year.

Fixed broadband subscriptions totalled 1.49m in Ireland, up 1.2pc compared to the previous quarter and up 3.4pc compared to the same quarter last year. Of these subscribers, 13.5pc had fibre-to-the-premises broadband, up from 8.8pc last year.

Approximately 79.2pc of broadband subscribers had purchased broadband with speeds equal to or greater than 30Mbps, while 39.4pc had speeds of at least 100Mbps.

Telecoms companies in Ireland have begun rolling out higher-speed broadband options.

Eir’s gigabit fibre network is now available in around 50 towns across the country, bringing speeds of up to 1Gbps. Last month, Virgin Media also made 1Gbps speeds available on almost all of its national network, covering nearly 1m homes in Ireland.

In a recent ComReg survey, 77pc of respondents said their broadband package meets the need of the household. However, while 81pc of those in urban areas said they were satisfied with their broadband, 68pc in rural areas said they were not.

More mobile subscribers using 4G

While home broadband usage saw a significant jump in the last quarter as many people around the country shifted to working remotely, voice traffic saw a more modest increase. According to ComReg, total voice traffic minutes increased by 12.6pc in the quarter and were 19.1pc higher than the same period in 2016.

Mobile minutes represented the majority of voice minutes (83.8pc), while fixed minutes represented the remaining 16.2pc. Mobile voice minutes were up by 12.6pc this quarter and fixed minutes were up 12.7pc.

On a monthly basis, the average mobile voice subscriber used 245.7 minutes (up 17.9pc on this time last year), sent 42 texts (down 32.5pc) and used 9.2GB of data (up 33.7pc).

Nearly three quarters (63.4pc) of mobile users were actively using 4G networks, up 57.5pc compared to the second quarter of 2019. Companies in Ireland are now rolling out next-generation 5G mobile networks, including Eir and Vodafone.

Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic