Not only is broadband takeup in Ireland poor but also basic understanding of what the term means is quite low, a survey by the research firm IDC has found. For example, 20pc of firms that use dial-up (56Kbps) and 23pc of firms that use ISDN (128Kbps) consider these to be broadband technologies.
According to the survey of end-user organisations, telecoms expenditure in Ireland continues to rise and expenditure on voice telephony is growing the fastest. More organisations expect the voice proportion of their spending to increase than those who expect it to decrease.
The survey further confirms that Eircom is the primary telecoms supplier to 91pc of government organisations. This is up compared to 67pc last year, indicating that deregulation of the telecoms market has had little impact on government spend on ICT, which is understood to be in the region of €500m a year.
“Their increased penetration in this sector may be attributable to the fact that Eircom won last year’s tender to install IP VPNs in public sector organisations,” said John Gilsenan, author of the new report, Telecoms Trends and Expenditure in Ireland 2003.
“Although it lost some market share among small organisations in the past year, Eircom re-established some lost ground among large organisations in Ireland. Of these organisations that changed their primary telecommunications supplier in the past year, 56pc moved to Eircom,” Gilsenan added.
In terms of the findings that reveal considerable lack of takeup and understanding of broadband technologies, Gilsenan said: “As well as the obvious infrastructural and price barriers in the market, there is clearly work to be done in terms of education around broadband technologies and how they can benefit Irish enterprises.”
Backing up the argument that firms in Ireland are most likely to increase their spend on voice telephony, Gilsenan continued: “This is particularly true in the medium-sized organisations, where almost a quarter believe that the voice proportion of their spend will be bigger at the end of 2003.”
By John Kennedy