Thursday 19 July 2018

Death of the landline? Why we are hanging up on the 'home phone'

How often do you use the 'home phone'?

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Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Landline calls have plummeted in Ireland in the last year, new figures from the telecoms regulator show.

Irish people are talking on their phones at least 10pc less than in 2017, with online and social media services such as WhatsApp and Apple's FaceTime eating into traditional phone habits.

There has been a similar collapse in traditional SMS text messages as ordinary people switch over to free messaging services from Facebook and Snapchat.

The figures also show that despite Government efforts, more than a quarter of Irish broadband connections are stuck on crawling speeds with at least 250,000 homes barely able to send an email.

The Government hopes that its National Broadband Plan will change this over the next two years, although construction of the plan has still not been finalised.

Overall, there has been no increase in the number of broadband subscriptions in Ireland over the last year, which still stands at 1.7 million.

The figures show Ireland's digital divide is becoming more acute, with homes that have adequate broadband using their service 25pc more than a year ago.

Home broadband is now being relied on by ordinary Irish homes for television as well as education and work, with a recent survey showing 500,000 Irish homes signed up to the online video service Netflix.

ComReg's new figures also reveal Ireland is one of Europe's more expensive countries for home broadband, with ongoing disputes between Eir and other operators over the cost of accessing the company's national network.

However, the figures also show Ireland is one of the cheapest places in Europe to run a pay-as-you-go phone, at around half the cost of many other EU countries.

Irish Independent

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