Ireland’s ISP performance quietly monitored through Steam game downloads

21 Jan 2015

Steam, the online gaming platform created by Valve, has been quietly monitoring the world’s internet service providers (ISPs), including those in Ireland, to show which ones rank top in each country.

While ISPs are quick to show when they’re performing the best in their respective countries, few online companies report independently as to how they are performing in a country as a whole.

Until now, streaming service Netflix remained the only company charting ISP performance in Ireland on any form of basis, with its most recent findings charting December 2014 as having UPC’s 3.82 Mbps as the best average speed, with Imagine showing the worst with 1.93 Mbps.

Now however, one Reddit sleuth stumbled upon Steam charting Irish ISP’s progress but on a week-by-week basis, showing differing figures but similar rankings among the providers.

As a service, Steam has become the dominant way for PC gamers to purchase games online through its digital store, while also providing hosting services for the games themselves, all the while trying to cope with millions of people playing games through Steam at any given time.

According to its statistics, over the last seven days, Liberty Global (UPC) achieved an average download rate of 26.7 Mbps, with Eircom falling far behind at 7.5 Mbps.

The figures even show that a few sneaky college students have been using HEAnet’s university-only broadband to download and play games through Steam at a rate of 29.3 Mbps.

When all of them are combined, the country’s average speed comes in at 12.9 Mbps.

At the opposite end of the scale, South Korea’s top ISP, Cablenet, has an average speed of 53.3 Mbps and a nationwide average speed of 49.8 Mbps.

High-speed broadband image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic