Where does Ireland rank for internet speed?

14 Sep 2021

Image: © Natchapon/Stock.adobe.com

Out of 224 countries, Ireland made the top 50 for internet speed, coming in just behind the UK.

Ireland came in 44th place in a global ranking of internet speeds by UK-based broadband comparison website Cable.co.uk.

The company’s 2021 ‘Worldwide Broadband Speed League’ comparison study ranked 224 countries based on internet speeds.

Ireland placed just behind the UK and ahead of Switzerland, with a mean download speed of 51.41Mbps. The testers also downloaded a 5GB film in each country as a way of testing download speeds, and this took on average 13 minutes and 17 seconds in Ireland.

In Jersey, which came in first place, it only took two minutes and 29 seconds to download a 5GB film. The average Mbps in Jersey was 274.27.

Turkmenistan had the slowest internet speeds. It took, on average, more than 22 hours to download the film, which was well above the global average time of one hour and 43 minutes. The average download speed globally was 28.69Mbps.

The next fastest countries behind Jersey were Liechtenstein (211.26Mbps), Iceland (191.83Mbps), Andorra (164.66Mbps) and Gibraltar (151.34Mbps). All five are small, wealthy nations, where it is easier to roll out full fibre broadband and 5G mobile internet.

Yemen, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea’s internet speeds ranked lowest ahead of Turkmenistan’s which was 0.50Mbps.

As a whole, Eastern Europe’s average speed was 46.22Mbps, whereas Western Europe’s average was 90.56Mbps.  In total, 249,374,946 unique IPs were tested to compile the results.

The average global broadband speed measured by Cable.co.uk in 2017 was 7.40Mbps. This rose to 9.10Mbps in 2018. In 2019, the average speed measured was 11.03Mbps.

In 2020, the average rose again by 90pc to 24.83Mbps. However, this steep rise was partially attributed to what Cable.co.uk called “upgraded measurement tools.”

Commenting on the worldwide rankings, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, said that the “acceleration of the fastest countries in the world has finally plateaued this year” as they reached pure fibre saturation.

Howdle added: “Increases in speed among the elite performers, then, can be attributed in greater part to uptake in many cases than to network upgrades. Meanwhile, though the countries occupying the bottom end of the table still suffer from extremely poor speeds, 2021’s figures do indicate that the situation is improving.”

This year’s rise in internet speeds was a more modest 20pc to 29.79Mbps. Cable.co.uk also looked at how global broadband speeds changed during lockdowns for Covid-19.

The company compared average internet speeds in 114 countries during and outside of their most stringent Covid-19 lockdown periods.

The countries in Western Europe which showed the largest drops in average speed during their lockdown periods were Finland (-24.81pc), Netherlands (-13.01pc), Austria (-10.47pc) and Italy (-10.44pc).

Ireland’s decrease in average internet speed during its lockdowns was deemed “negligible” at 2.23pc.

Updated, 10.01am, 15 September 2021: This article has been amended to correct the average global download speed as well as Eastern Europe and Western Europe’s average speeds. We have also corrected a misstatement about the top five countries in the ranking.

Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic