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Studies reveal broadband in Ireland is 3rd most expensive in EU

Irish customers lose out as their broadband is named third most expensive with only users in Cyprus and Spain worse off

Following research undertaken on behalf of the EU Commission, Ireland has been named as having the third most expensive broadband in the EU when comparing the cheapest packages available.

According to the data, broadband in Ireland can cost as much as €60 per month with even the cheapest packages starting at a high of €31.40 a month.

This is almost three times more expensive than some other European countries such as Lithuania who reported the cheapest broadband prices (€10.30+) and only marginally behind the two most expensive countries – Cyprus (€46.20+) and Spain (€38.70+).

Geographic lottery

With as much as a 400% difference in broadband prices between EU countries, those behind the report explained that customers were playing a “geographic lottery” over the service they received.

Moreover, while there are huge variations in prices, the strength of broadband connections and signals also varies considerably within countries and Europe as a whole. This means that those paying for broadband may not be receiving the advertised connection speed – making it even more vital that they’re achieving good value for money.

As European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes said: “While underlying networks are improving, the gap between advertised and actual speeds is as wide [today] as in 2013.”

Educating customers

While the results of the reports come as little surprise to some people, there has been a strong call for European customers to be educated about their broadband connections in order to make an informed decision over which service to sign up for.

As well as shortcomings over broadband prices, there was also a distinct lack of knowledge over broadband services. While only 75% of people received the broadband speed they signed up for, a shocking two-thirds (66%) didn’t even know what that speed was meant to be.

For Irish broadband customers, the lack of knowledge concerning available broadband services extended into other realms. According to the study, around 70% of customers limited their calls made to EU countries, mobiles and Irish landlines run by other operators out of fear of charges.

Educating customers on the best broadband and phone packages for their needs could therefore help users get the service they deserve and eliminate this tendency to limit activities for fear of financial penalisation.

The reports

The findings came from four reports, the Broadband Internet Access Costs (BIAC), SamKnows, Eurobarometer and Communications Committee (COCOM), which were undertaken on behalf of the European Commission. They looked at the advertised broadband prices in EU countries, focusing on 12-30Mbps services for fixed broadband connections which are the most popular amongst European subscribers.

Broadband in Ireland was revealed as one of the most expensive in the studies, with the rate paid by their customers three times, or 300%, more than some other European countries.

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