Ireland lags other states in broadband delivery

 

IRELAND IS lagging behind other countries in the roll-out of next generation networks, a new broadband report has said.

The report, published by Forfás, said the country had made “significant progress” in improving broadband coverage in the past two years, with an average of 21.4 subscribers per 100 people, compared with the OECD average of 22.4. This excludes mobile broadband, and countries like the Netherlands, which has a 38.1 average.

However, while broadband accounts for 90 per cent of internet connections and speeds have improved, they remain below the fastest speeds available to customers in other OECD countries. Only 0.6 per cent of connections in Ireland are fibre connections, compared to an average of 11.3 per cent in OECD-28 countries.

The report says Ireland has fallen behind in the deployment of fibre infrastructure for both wired and wireless networks.

“Advanced broadband services are essential to underpinning entrepreneurship and innovation and are needed to position Ireland for export-led recovery,” said Forfás chief executive Jane Williams.

Among the report’s recommendations are a review by the Department of Communications and the communications regulator of options to increase revenues and reduce costs and risks for private-sector operators.