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ComReg report reveals increase in Irish broadband speeds and subscriptions

Study of Irish communications market in Q1 shows more than 1.7m active subscriptions

Broadband subscriptions increased in Ireland in Q1 2014, up 0.7% from the previous quarter and up 1.8% year-on-year.

The latest Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) report studies the Irish communications market and shows there were 1,701,714 broadband subscriptions at the end of March.

Broadband subscriptions account for 99.5% of all internet subscriptions, according to the ComReg report.

Subscriptions breakdown 

The total number of fixed line subscriptions increased by 23,523, although mobile broadband subscriptions dropped by nearly 11,000.

DSL subscriptions made up 40.4% of broadband services, while VDSL accounted for 6.1% of all subscriptions in Q1.

Mobile broadband accounts for 28.7% while cable has a 20.6% share and fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband subscriptions accounted for 3.5% of all broadband in Ireland.

Some 83.4% of broadband subscriptions across all platforms were classed as residential in the Q1 ComReg report.

However, 98.4% of connections were residential in the case of cable subscriptions, while this figure dropped to 91.9% and 80.9% in the cases of VDSL and DSL respectively.

Percentage of subscriptions to various broadband speeds 2014 

Broadband speeds

Approximately 56.7% of broadband subscriptions had speeds that were greater than 10Mbps, while 37.7% were above 30Mbps, up 3.3% and 2.5% respectively since December.

This equates to approximately 62.2% of residential subscriptions now being above 10Mbps and 20.9% of business subscriptions reaching similar speeds.

Most businesses look to broadband providers who can supply services with download speeds of between 2Mbps and 10Mbps, while residential users look for speeds above 30Mbps.

Broadband penetration

The broadband penetration rate in Ireland for fixed residential broadband subscriptions was 61.9%, while the broadband per capita penetration rate was 36.9%.

However, this latter figure drops to 26.3% if mobile broadband is not included, while Ireland’s fixed broadband per capita penetration rate is below the EU-28 average of 28.4%.

The overall household broadband penetration rate of 67% was also lower than the EU-28 average of 76%.

WiFi broadband access

ComReg data on WiFi hotspots relates to the number of public WiFi hotspots and access points located across the country.

The number of WiFi hotspots and access points increased by 18.4% and 16% respectively in Q1 2014 compared to Q1 2013.

The use of WiFi minutes also rose by 68.4% in that time period, with 2,860 hotspots and 4,899 access points recorded.

Broadband pricing

A T-Connect product from Teligen was used in the ComReg report for fixed broadband comparisons to allow for meaningful comparisons between countries.

It is based on at least 30 hours of usage per month, with each session lasting for a minimum of 30 minutes for residential customers, while this increased to 100 hours and one hour sessions for business customers.

Ireland ranks 4th highest of 27 countries listed when it comes to prices, eight places above the benchmarked average.