67% of broadband speeds under 30Mbps minimum goal

Some 67% of consumers are achieving broadband speeds of less than 30Mbps, according to a recent survey of 1,000 consumers.

This is below the stated minimum of the National Broadband Plan (NBP), which has set an objective to ensure that all homes and businesses in Ireland have access to high-speed broadband nationwide, with a minimum of 30Mbps available to all.

This is according to new research from independent price comparison and switching service Switcher.ie, released today, following surveys in January of this year.

The same report, however, shows that 60% of consumers nationwide are satisfied with their home broadband speeds, which is a significant increase on last year’s figure of 44%.

Despite this, and the ongoing rollout of faster speeds to more areas of the country, over three-quarters of consumers (78%) say their home broadband speeds are either the same or worse than they were this time last year.

Urban/rural divide

The urban/rural divide is still very much evident too, according to the report – with 33% of people in Connacht/Ulster saying they’re unhappy with their broadband speeds at home, compared to just 16% in Dublin.

The Switchers.ie survey adds that there’s still a significant cohort of Irish consumers who are yet to be convinced that the NBP is going to sort out their broadband issues.

Some 37% of those surveyed said they know nothing at all about the plan. 18% of consumers aren’t confident the NBP will have any impact on them, while 14% are confident that it will.

The urban/rural divide comes into play again here, with Connacht and Ulster standing out as being the most skeptical about how beneficial the plan will be for them  – 24% in total.

While the contract for the plan is yet to be awarded, and work will not be completed for another few years, commercial rollouts are continuing across the country at pace, and the likes of eir, SIRO and Virgin Media are building out networks with superfast capability to new towns all the time.

Maximum speeds vs. actual speeds

According to Switchers.ie, consumers need to be aware that broadband providers advertise their maximum available speed.

Despite paying for 100Mbps broadband, for example, there’s no guarantee that you will actually get this speed, the company warns.

Switcher.ie’s speed test data shows that consumers saying they tested using a wired connection had average speeds of almost 45Mbps, while those connecting through WiFi had speeds closer to 27Mbps, so the difference is really significant – something many consumers may not realise.

Highlighting the impact of broadband connectivity, managing director of Switcher.ie Eoin Clarke said: “In an increasingly digital world, broadband is without a doubt a household essential, and being stuck in the slow lane can really have a big impact on people’s quality of life.”