Irish broadband speeds – a lot more room for improvement

27 Sep 2011

Ireland’s broadband speeds are improving but only very slowly, and download speeds compared with our EU competitor countries have actually dropped, according to the latest Ookla Netindex.

In the third quarter of 2011 Ireland was 72nd in the world for upload speeds and 24th out of 27 in the EU.

Ireland is 45th in the world for download speeds and 23rd out of the 27 in the EU.

The country is 34th in the world for broadband quality and 18 out of 25 in the EU, while the country is 52nd in the world for delivery on ‘promised’ speeds and 23rd out of the EU-27.

“The large speed increases during Q2 by both Eircom and UPC restored our relative position in the EU back to where it was in May 2010 but these speed increases tapered out of the statistics during Q3 2011 with Eircom showing a drop in download speed and with the improvement against our EU competitors largely stalling,” IrelandOffline chairman Eamonn Wallace pointed out.

Wallace pointed out that the gap between UPC and Eircom continues to grow. The average UPC customer enjoyed three times the speed of the average Eircom customer in Q4 2010 and the performance gap in Q3 2011 is now nearly four times more.

“This improvement in cable broadband speeds keeps Ireland largely static in the international tables instead of falling back as expected.

“Average Eircom speeds dropped nationally from 4.59Mbps in June to 4.57Mbps in September as the rollout of their ‘next generation’ broadband slowed down dramatically. Eircom did improve their speed performance in Galway Limerick and Waterford but were only up a meagre 0.01 Mbits in Dublin and dropped slightly in Cork City.

“The notable trend continues whereby recently cabled towns, typically towns with populations between 10,000 and 30,000 are now enjoying significantly faster speeds than any our main cities and employment centres nowadays. The fastest speeds in Ireland are in Dungarvan County Waterford where the local cable ISP, Casey Cablevision, now deliver average speeds of 24.3Mbps,” Wallace said.

In second place nationally is Swords Co. Dublin on 16.35Mbps and Athlone has dropped to third on 14.58Mbps up from 13.08Mbps in Q2.

The 10 Fastest Towns in Q3 2011 average 12.64Mbps up from 11.24Mbps in Q2 2011 and again up from 10.5Mbps in Q1.

None of the five biggest cities are among the 10 Fastest Towns in Ireland. Dublin in 12th place is the top city with speeds of 10.57Mbps on average.

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