Ireland not at the races when it comes to broadband speeds

Digital divide continues unabated as Ireland lags other countries for broadband

While Europe accounts for nine out of the top ten countries for broadband speeds worldwide, Ireland languishes in 30th spot out of all European locations surveyed.

While Europe accounts for nine out of the top ten countries for broadband speeds worldwide, Ireland languishes in 30th spot out of all European locations surveyed.

 

How infuriating must it be for those living outside of urban areas to hear that broadband speeds in the Republic jumped by almost a third over the last year?

A new study published this week shows the average broadband speed increased by more than 30 per cent from 13.92 megabits per second (mbps) to 18.22mbps in the 12 months to the end of May.

The increase in speed is largely due to providers offering ever-faster services in cosmopolitan areas, rather than because proper steps have been taken to address the digital divide.

Such news must be galling for anyone unable to run a business because they are unfortunate to live outside of a major city or town.

Although commercial broadband services in cities and large towns have improved in recent years, the Government’s plan to address poor-quality services in rural areas remains on the back boiler, having been delayed due to the complexity of the procurement process, which now has only one bidder.

Work on the State-subsidised National Broadband Plan was to have commenced at the beginning of 2018. But that was put back to next year, leaving those who don’t reside in urban areas to continue to make do with patchy, poor internet access.

This latest study might also displease those who wish to portray the State as a digital hub. Although Ireland remains in the top quarter of countries in the world for broadband, its position remained unchanged at 36th place out of 200 destinations.

On first glance, that doesn’t sound too bad until you take a look and see that, while we may be outpacing the likes of Yemen, we’re in the bottom third of EU member states for average speeds.

Europe accounts for nine out of the top 10 countries for broadband speeds worldwide, but Ireland languishes in 30th spot out of all European locations surveyed.

We might like to think of ourselves as digital leaders but the state of broadband access in Ireland makes clear that we are still very much in the slow lane technology-wise.

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