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67pc Irish broadband is 'below minimum'

Independent.ie logo Independent.ie 21/08/2018 Adrian Weckler
Stock image / PA © Provided by Irish Independent Stock image / PA

A survey of 1,000 people, conducted by the consumer association Switcher.ie, shows that 67pc of Irish households get less than 30Mbs, which is the cut-off point used by authorities in deciding whether broadband is good enough.

The 30Mbs limit is the level at which the Government decides if a premises is adequately served by providers or needs to be considered for state intervention via the National Broadband Plan.

However, the Switcher research data is based on wifi speeds in households, which are typically only about 60pc of the speed available directly from the wired connection.

The study found that while wireless speeds averaged 27Mbs, those on direct wired connections averaged 45Mbs.

Despite the modest speed levels, a separate poll by iReach claims that three in five Irish people say they are "satisfied" with their broadband. The online survey also claims that three-quarters of Irish consumers say their home broadband speeds are either "the same" or "worse" than they were this time last year.

And an urban-rural divide in broadband is still in evidence, according to the survey, with a third of those questioned in Connacht and Ulster unhappy with their home broadband speeds while only 16pc of Dublin-based broadband users expressed a similar sentiment.

Meanwhile, almost one in five people believe that the National Broadband Plan will have no effect on their broadband plight.

"While we're hearing a lot about super-fast broadband, there are still a significant number that aren't satisfied with their speeds and many who feel things aren't going to improve any time soon, despite the promises of the National Broadband Plan," said Eoin Clarke, managing director of Switcher.ie.

"For people struggling with sluggish speeds, simple things like streaming content, working from home, and keeping in touch with friends and family can be a real issue."

The research comes as the government insists that the National Broadband Plan, which has pledged to roll out high-speed broadband to 540,000 rural homes and businesses, remains on track despite the recent departure of electrical utility giant SSE from the short-listed bidding consortium led by Enet.

The Government intends to announce the winner of the National Broadband Plan winner on September 16, allowing construction work to begin on the network early next year with completion due by 2023.

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