Sunday 22 September 2019

Irish broadband users rise by 8pc this year

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The number of broadband users in Ireland rose by approximately 8pc in the last quarter to more than 705,000, according to figures released yesterday by telecoms regulator Comreg.

The number of users excluded mobile broadband users, of which there is now approximately 88,000 in the country.

Comreg said that at the end of September this year, the broadband penetration rate stood at 16.35pc, or 18.4pc if mobile broadband subscribers are included.

However, the country still ranks as having one of the lowest broadband penetration rates in the developed world, behind industrialised nations such as New Zealand, France, Italy, the US and the UK.

Last week Forfas chief executive Martin Cronin said that Ireland continues to lag other countries in terms of overall broadband subscriber numbers, the range of services available and investment in next generation broadband networks.

Data released by the telecoms watchdog also shows that there were 108,000 new mobile phone subscriptions during the period, bringing the total number of registered active phones in use to over 4.9m. That implies a penetration rate of 114pc, meaning there are substantially more mobile phones in use in the country than there are people.

Around 92,000 consumers changed provider in the quarter, bringing the total number who have defected to alternative carriers to 1m since number portability was introduced.

Irish mobile phone users also sent 1.89bn text messages during the last quarter, an average of 127 messages per mobile subscription each month.

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