Survey shows Ireland’s home broadband speeds are stagnating

21 Aug 2018415 Views

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Achill Island. Users in the west of Ireland are less happy with broadband speeds. Image: shutterupeire/Shutterstock

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While more people are satisfied with their home broadband connections, the speeds don’t seem to be increasing.

A new survey from broadband price comparison service Switcher.ie provides some insights into how the population of Ireland feels about their broadband speeds.

According to the results, 60pc of customers are happy with their home broadband speeds. This is a significant increase on last year, when 44pc of respondents said they were satisfied with their connections.

Speeds are stalling

While there have been a number of notable roll-outs of faster speeds across the country, more than three-quarters (78pc) of the 1,001 respondents said their home broadband speeds are either the same or worse than they were this time last year.

Along with stalling speeds, the urban-rural digital divide is still starkly visible. A third of respondents from Connacht and Ulster said they were not happy with their domestic broadband connection, compared to just 16pc of Dubliners.

Customers in the dark about NBP

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is also a point of confusion for customers. 37pc of those surveyed said they know nothing about the plan at all. 18pc of participants are not confident the NBP will have any notable effect on them. A mere 14pc are confident they will reap the benefits of the NBP. Those in Connacht and Ulster are the most sceptical about the plan having any positive effect on them.

The NBP aims to ensure minimum broadband speeds of 30Mbps are available to all, but it has hit some roadblocks in recent times.

Outside of this, firms such as Siro and Virgin Media are fitting out Irish towns with super-fast capability on an ongoing basis. Switcher.ie noted that many customers are not always aware the speed advertised by providers is their maximum available speed. This means there is no guarantee this speed will be provided on a consistent basis.

Switcher.ie’s own speed test data shows that consumers using a wired connection have average speeds of close to 45Mbps, while the Wi-Fi speeds averaged at 27Mbps – a significant difference.

Some people falling behind

Eoin Clarke, managing director of Switcher.ie, said: “In an increasingly digital world, broadband is without a doubt a household essential, and being stuck in the slow lane can really have a big impact on people’s quality of life.

“It’s great to see that people’s satisfaction with the speeds they’re getting at home has improved somewhat but, while we’re hearing a lot about super-fast broadband, there are still a significant number that aren’t satisfied with their speeds, and many who feel things aren’t going to improve any time soon, despite the promises of the National Broadband Plan.”

He noted that for those trying to work from home or keep in touch with friends and family abroad, slow speeds are having a detrimental effect.

Ellen Tannam is a writer covering all manner of business and tech subjects

editorial@siliconrepublic.com