Entry-level Irish broadband amongst most expensive in EU

Wednesday 26 March 2014 10.28
The European Union survey found a 400% variation between the price of cheap and expensive broadband
The European Union survey found a 400% variation between the price of cheap and expensive broadband

A new study has found that Ireland has the third highest broadband costs in the European Union when comparing the cheapest packages available.

The comparative research, carried out on behalf of the EU Commission last year, found Irish consumers pay a minimum of €31.40 a month for broadband, and up to a maximum of just over €60 a month.

Across the entire union, the research found a 400% variation in the price of the cheapest and most expensive broadband packages, underlining the variable nature of broadband charges.

The cheapest broadband is available in Lithuania, at €10.30 a month, while the most expensive is in Cyprus, at €46.20.

Meanwhile, a separate EU survey has revealed how cost greatly influences Irish consumers' use of their mobile and fixed line phones.

According to the Eurobarometer study, around three quarters of people living here limit calls they make on their mobile phones to national numbers and numbers in other EU states, as a result of charges.

The study also found that around 70% of people in Ireland limit their fixed line phone calls to other EU countries and mobile or fixed line networks run by other operators, due to concerns about charges.

It is a similar pattern when it comes to mobile data usage, with two thirds of Irish consumers limiting their mobile internet use due to worries about price.

Worries about costs are heightened further during travel, with a third of Irish users saying they are likely to switch off the data roaming capabilities of their mobile phone while visiting another EU country, and 14% turning off their phone completely.

More than half of people in Ireland make and accept fewer calls while roaming in the EU.

Next week the European Parliament will vote on the European Commission's proposals to overhaul the telecoms market, which includes plans to give consumers more transparency, more rights and better services.

Some only get half of advertised broadband speeds

Meanwhile, a study of broadband speeds across the EU has found that on average Irish internet users only receive half the download speed advertised by their Internet Service Provider.

The EU study, carried out by SamKnows, found that Irish consumers who get their broadband using xDSL technology only receive 49.98% of the speed advertised by their ISP - well below the European average of 71% of advertised speeds.

However, Irish consumers who get their broadband via cable do better, receiving 85% of the advertised download speed.

Overall the average download speed experienced by users across the EU is just 75.6% of what is advertised by Internet Service Providers.

However, the findings were better when it came to average upload speeds, which were found to 91.1% of the advertised pace.

The study presents the results of measurements taken from 9,467 devices spread across 30 countries in October 2013, during the peak hours of 7am to 11pm.

The average download speed across all countries was 30.37Mbps during peak hours, and this increased slightly to 31.72Mbps when all hours were considered.

The average download speed achieved by Irish consumers accessing their broadband via xDSL is just under 6Mbps, compared to an EU average of 8.7Mbps.

However, cable users here enjoy an average download speed of 57Mbps, well above the EU average of 48Mbps.