New figures from the telecoms regulator suggest that a gradual move back to the office is underway
The number of Irish homes with high speed broadband has exceeded 50pc for the first time, according to new figures from the Communications regulator, Comreg.
The watchdog’s latest quarterly report shows that 52pc of Irish households now have connections at or above 100Mbs, which the EU designates as ‘high speed’.
However, rollout of the National Broadband Plan remains behind schedule, with less than 10pc of the 559,000 premises to be covered ‘passed’.
The jump of high speed connections is partly down to the surge in ‘real’ fibre broadband connections being built by Eir, Siro and NBI, which now stands at 1.3m premises. This has seen a 45pc annual rise (to 401,000 subscriptions) in those opting for fibre technology, mostly at the expense of older phone-line DSL and VDSL broadband subscriptions, which have fallen by over 10pc.
Comreg’s figures also suggest that a gradual return to the office is underway, with an 8.5pc decrease in data used by home broadband users. With overall data usage still rising sharply in Ireland, the figures suggest that pandemic-era home workers are starting to return to company offices.
Meanwhile, total voice traffic minutes decreased by 4.1pc this quarter and stands at 5.7pc lower than the same three months in the second quarter of 2021. This was anchored by a collapse in fixed line voice traffic, down 31pc on the same period last year.
While mobile minutes form the vast majority of voice traffic, at 87.9pc, they decreased by 3.2pc this quarter, more than fixed-line voice traffic.
However, texting was marginally up, with the average person sending 40 ‘texts’ each month, a 6.1pc increase. This does not include online texting services such as Whatsapp or iMessage, which now vastly outperforms traditional SMS messaging in Ireland.
Separately, Vodafone remains Ireland’s largest company for ordinary mobile subscriptions, with 35.4pc of the market. When mobile broadband connections and ‘machine-to-machine’ (M2M) subscriptions are included, Three is the largest mobile provider, with 40.7pc of the market.