The Government drive to encourage citizens to use public services online is being hampered by a lack of broadband, according to new research commissioned by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

The research by IPSOS MRBI into public attitudes to the civil service found that 73% of people contacting Government departments do so by phone.

However, the research found that users expressed frustration at alternated phone systems and being put on hold, and found the system was slow.

The Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Roberts Watts, acknowledged that staffing phone services was considerably more expensive than when people transact their business online.

However, the research by IPSOS MRBI revealed that more than one in four of customers do not have broadband. 

Since 2009 contact by email almost doubled from 12% to 25%.

Online contact rose from 12 to 20%, while 3% now access Government services on mobile devices.

However, the numbers accessing the services in person declined from 55% to 49%, while those writing in to the Department fell from 34% to 27%.

The survey, of 2,000 people, found that online news was more popular among young age group and higher social classes.

Overall the survey found that 77% were fairly or very satisfied with the civil service.

However, one in five respondents did not perceive the civil service as trustworthy and would question whether people are dealt with fairly and equally, although this figure was an improvement on the last research in 2009.