Drop in Irish broadband subscriptions according to ComReg
New ComReg report reveals a 0.3% fall in broadband subscribers in Q2, 2014, but access to broadband improves
Broadband subscriptions in Ireland dipped slightly in Q2 2014, down 0.3% on the previous quarter, but annual figures show a 1.9% annual increase.
The Q2 2014 report on the Irish Communications Market from the Commission for Communications Regulation showed there are now 1,696,878 broadband subscriptions.
Fixed broadband increased by 13,320 subscriptions – a rise of 1.1% from Q1 – although mobile broadband subscriptions (not including data used over handsets or smartphones) dropped by more than 18,000.
DSL subscriptions in the Irish communications market stood at 39.6% in Q2, although that represents a drop of 4.9 percentage points across the last year, while VDSL accounted for 7.8%.
Mobile broadband accounts for 27.7% of all broadband subscriptions in Ireland, while cable and fixed wireless access (FWA) connections account for 20.9% and 3.2% respectively.
Across all platforms, 83.1% of subscriptions were classed as being residential broadband, although 98.2% of cable connections were residential, according to ComReg.
This figure dropped to 90.9% for VDSL connections and to 80.7% for DSL, suggesting there was widespread broadband access on offer from the various broadband providers in Ireland.
Around 59% of broadband subscriptions had speeds that exceeded 10Mbps, while 40.1% were faster than 30Mbps.
This means that 64.6% of residential and 23.1% of business broadband connections have speeds of 10Mbps or more, the ComReg report states.
The report adds that residential users look for faster speeds, while businesses tend to have average download speeds of between 2Mbps and 10Mbps.
The broadband penetration rate in Ireland for fixed residential subscriptions was 62.5% in Q2, up from the previous quarter, while the broadband per capita penetration rate was 36.8%.
However, the latter figure drops to 26.6% if mobile broadband is not included and the fixed broadband penetration rate for Ireland of 25.9% is behind the EU-28 average of 28.5%.
Ireland’s overall household broadband penetration rate of 67% remains lower than the EU-28 average of 76%, showing no change from the previous quarter.
WiFi broadband access
ComReg data relating to WiFi hotspots is based on the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots and access points that are located across Ireland.
The number of WiFi hotspots and access points increased by 21.7% and 20.1% respectively in Q2 2014 when compared to the same quarter a year earlier.
The use of WiFi minutes to access services increased by 91% in that period.
A T-Connect product from Teligen is used by ComReg in the report to enable meaningful comparisons of fixed broadband between countries.
Figures are based on at least 30 hours of usage per month, with each session lasting for a minimum of 30 minutes for residential customers, while the figures are increased to 100 hours and 60 minute sessions for business customers.
Ireland ranked 19th for cheapest residential DSL, VDSL & cable broadband out of 27 EU countries, four places behind the benchmarked average.