Irish broadband is still stuck in the slow lane, in an increasingly digital world, broadband is now considered a household essential, alongside energy, however parts of Ireland experience broadband speeds up to 36 times slower than others.
On a county-by-county basis, Dublin had the highest average internet speed, followed by Waterford, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath. In comparison, the slowest broadband areas are Legan in Longford, with an average download speed of 1.98 mega bites per second, with Leitrim, Roscommon, Monaghan and Mayo all in the bottom five. Out of the 20 slowest areas, four are in Cork, three are in Cavan, and two are in Galway.
Furthermore, one in 10 Irish households have super-slow broadband speeds of less than 3 mega bites per second, which is not fast enough to watch video streaming sites like Netflix. Undeniably, Ireland is behind the times when it comes to broadband, with more than a third of Irish broadband users having speeds of less than or equal to 30 megabits per second, the minimum target set out in the Government’s National Broadband Scheme.
Lower speed is crippling Irish SMEs
The majority of businesses now need a reliable, fast internet connection. Slow internet speeds can not only impact employee productivity but the quality of customer service offered can also be impacted, for example customers applications on websites. Regardless of company size, if your business uses technologies such as video conferencing, online payments and other e-commerce functions a high speed connection is essential.
Managers from small businesses in rural areas that have poor broadband speeds frequently need to leave their offices to send emails via a mobile signal. Despite numerous broadband initiatives, a fifth of Irish SMEs still say that poor broadband is the biggest issue facing their business, while almost a half of Irish SMEs say that they sell nothing online.
Broadband speed can be affected by a number of factors, including the type of connection being used and the location of the business. Providers also tend to advertise their maximum available speed, which is no guarantee that the customer will actually get it, especially in rural parts of Ireland.
Broadband is essential for modern living and working
In general, one-in-five people said they can’t get access to broadband at all with the figure rising to one-in-four in villages. With many new initiatives trying to get people to move back to rural Ireland, it is unclear as to why the government does not have a strategy in place to complement living in rural Ireland but also having access to necessities such as broadband.
The Government’s national broadband plan aims to bridge the digital divide in one leap by building a high-speed network across rural Ireland using the latest technologies.