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Ireland's fixed broadband speeds ranked 42nd in the world in new Ookla report

For Mobile Broadband, the report ranks us 72nd in the world

A new report from Ookla on fixed and mobile broadband speeds shows Ireland is still lagging behind in this area.

The report, which covers millions of speed tests taken in Ireland between July and December 2017, shows Ireland ranks:

  • 42nd in the world for fixed download speed, between Finland and Slovakia;
  • 59th for fixed broadband upload speed, between Cambodia and India;
  • 72nd in the world for mobile download speed, behind Azerbaijan and ahead of the Maldives; and
  • 81st for mean mobile upload speed, between Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe.

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‘A study of contrasts’

Ookla’s report says that internet in Ireland is ‘a study of contrasts’, with better speeds in and around cities, but slower speeds in rural areas.

This comment won’t come as a surprise to the many people struggling with sub-par speeds at the moment. This is something which the National Broadband Plan hopes to address, with minimum fixed broadband speeds of 30Mbps to be available to the majority of households in the country by 2020.

Currently, many households don’t have speeds even close to this - Ookla found mean fixed broadband download speeds of 38.81Mbps from July-September 2017, with mean mobile broadband download speeds of just 19.97Mbps.

Fastest fixed broadband and mobile broadband providers

In terms of the fastest providers, Ookla once again report that Virgin Media has the fastest fixed broadband service, with a peak hours broadband download speed of 54.28Mbps.

Meanwhile, Vodafone came out on top for mobile speeds, with a peak hours download speed of 17.36Mbps.

Fastest fixed broadband by area

According to Ookla, the top five areas with fastest download speeds over fixed broadband are:

  • South Dublin (67.83 Mbps)
  • Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (64.15 Mbps)
  • Dublin City (61.84 Mbps)
  • Kildare (56.52 Mbps)
  • Wicklow (50.78 Mbps).

The slowest county is Donegal - with speeds of just 18.39Mbps - which shows the gulf between rural and urban areas in terms of speeds.

Improving your broadband speed

It can be really frustrating if you’ve signed up for a particular speed and aren’t achieving that speed at home - remember providers advertise ‘up to’ speeds, so there’s no guarantee of the speeds you’ll actually get.

The first thing to do is carry out a few broadband speed tests at various times throughout the day to get an idea of your average speed. If you’re not getting the speeds you expect, remember you’ll get slower speeds using WiFi than you would if you were connected directly to the router. If it’s feasible, try connecting your device directly to the router - you should notice a big improvement in speeds.

If you need to use WiFi, there are a number of things you can do to improve your speeds, as follows:

  • make sure the router is not encased in a cabinet or surrounded by things that may block the signal;
  • ensure the modem is not near devices that could interfere with it - like microwaves, baby monitors or cordless phones;
  • move the router into the room where you use the internet most; and/or
  • use a WiFi extender.

If you live in an apartment building or an area with lots of wireless modems and lots of devices you may experience some wireless interference. Simply rebooting your modem - by unplugging it, leaving it for 30 seconds and plugging it back in - will automatically select the most appropriate channel for you.

Also, if you have a large number of devices connected to the WiFi, it may be that one of these is causing an issue. You could try disconnecting all of your devices one by one to see if there’s a particular one that’s causing you a problem.

Contact your broadband provider

If you try the tips above and your speeds don’t improve, you should contact your provider to see if they can offer a solution.

They may have some other advice for you, or could offer you a newer modem which may help to improve things - sometimes a change of equipment can make a massive difference.

Switching broadband provider to improve speeds

If your current provider can’t help, you may want to look around and see if you can find a broadband deal with better speeds or a different type of connection in your area.

Comparing high-speed broadband packages is really easy, and not only could you get a better connection, you could also make big savings by switching, as most providers offer decent introductory discounts.

If you’re not in a fibre-enabled area, remember you may still be able to get a fast broadband connection via ADSL broadband connections or satellite broadband.

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