Irish proportionally pay way above the EU average for broadband

19 Jun 2015

A new European Commission report has found that prices for fixed broadband in Ireland are almost double the EU average, when measured as a proportion of income.

The report – the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) – also found that relative prices in Ireland have become more expensive over the last year.

When wording it with the cleavage “when measured as a proportion of income”, the DESI report attempts to compare prices, state by state, in a way other than direct price.

In this way, it measured the individual gross income spent for the cheapest standalone fixed broadband subscription, with Irish households paying out 2.2pc of their income, in comparison to 1.4pc continent wide.

Surprisingly, Ireland’s 96pc coverage is “somewhat below” the EU average, which is 97pc. Not a huge disparity, to be fair.

Broadband prices, preferences and digital skills

“Furthermore, take-up is only at 62pc of households; as such, Ireland ranks 19th and 20th, respectively in the EU on these indicators.”

There were only two categories measured that saw Ireland in the top ten in the EU, with mobile broadband take-up (7th) and subscriptions to ‘fast broadband’, which is at least 30Mbps (9th).

Irish businesses rank second for the use of social media, more than double the EU average. They come second again for e-commerce turnover, six-times the EU average.

Bad in parts, but OK overall

Ireland ranks way down in the digital skills ranking of its population, coming in just 20th out of 28, but moved up overall to eighth based on overall digital performance in five categories: Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology and Digital Public Services, according to DESI.

By 2020 some 1.9m homes and businesses across Ireland – including 300,000 premises in rural communities in more than 1,000 communities – will have access to broadband future-proofed to 1Gbps and beyond.

This will be well beyond the minimum 30Mbps target set by the Irish Government.

Broadband image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic