ComReg slams OECD broadband claims

17 Jul 2007

UPDATE – The Commission for Communications (ComReg) has hit back at claims that Ireland fares as badly in broadband access as the latest OECD Communication Outlook 2007 report represents.

ComReg argues that the OECD figures were compiled as much as two years ago and do not reflect the present situation.

According to the latest ComReg quarterly report the broadband penetration rate in Ireland was in fact at 14.2pc, with 602,000 broadband subscribers as of March 2007, in comparison with the 9.2pc in the July 12th report by the OECD.

A spokesman for ComReg said that the OECD figures were “historic, dating as far back as two years.”

However the most recent OECD broadband figures (as of December 2006), which were not included in the Communications Outlook report, still showed Ireland to be among those countries with the lowest broadband access per 100 of the population.

These OECD statistics showed that only 12.4 out of every 100 people in Ireland are broadband subscribers, placing Ireland at 23rd in the list of 30 countries surveyed, with Turkey and Mexico coming in last.

According to the OECD report, the fastest broadband download speeds available from Eircom as of October 2006 is around 15,000Kbps, placing our incumbent broadband provider’s speeds among the slowest.

Luxembourg and Austria are also among the OECD’s reported slowest, with the Slovak Republic’s incumbent broadband provider offering the lowest speeds at 11,000 Kbps according to the report published last week.

In contrast Japan and Korea are leading the way with over 100,000 Kpbs in download speeds.

The report also looked at the growth of digital terrestrial television, revealing that out of all OECD countries, only Luxembourg has completed the analogue to digital move to date, completely switching off analogue.

While we are among the last six OECD countries to get digital terrestrial underway, along with Greece, we have begun trialing, with a view to analogue switch by 2012.

By Marie Boran