The average speed of broadband in Ireland continues to increase, according to new data from the communications regulator Comreg.

In the three month period from October until December of last year, almost two thirds of fixed line broadband speeds were equal to or greater than 10Mbps, up from 53% in the same period of 2013.

The data also shows that, during the quarter, 45% of all fixed line broadband subscriptions were equal or greater than 30Mbps, an increase of 10% on the same period a year earlier. 

The volume of text messages being sent continued to plummet, however, as people moved over to web based messaging services. 

During the last quarter of 2014 1.88 billion texts were sent, down 12% on the last three months of the previous year.

However, people's use of multimedia messaging increased during the period, with the number sent rising 6.6% year on year.

There are now 1.26 million fixed broadband subscriptions here, with a small growth recorded in the number of new contracts taken out during the quarter. 

Including mobile, there were 1.69 million broadband subscriptions this quarter - a decrease of 0.1% from the third quarter of 2014, but an increase of 0.2% compared to the same period in 2013.

The total broadband penetration rate, including both fixed and mobile broadband, now stands at 80%. 

The number of fixed phone subscriptions increased by 3.8% year-on-year to stand at over 1.58 million, while the Comreg data also shows that fixed voice traffic has declined by 1.7%.

Instead, people seem to be making more mobile calls, with mobile traffic increasing by 4.1% compared to the previous quarter in 2014. Mobile penetration now stands at 106%.

The take up of fourth generation high speed access continues to rise, with 11% of all mobile subscribers now actively using it.

Partly as a result of that, and the rise of streaming services, the quantity of data being consumed by mobile users has exploded, rising by almost 83% during 2014.

However, that has not necessarily translated into higher revenues for operators, with the average revenue per user in the quarter standing at €25.10 per month, down from €26.20 per month during the same period last year.

According to Comreg, the decrease can be attributed to lower priced mobile plans, increased sales of bundled products and reductions in mobile roaming and termination rates.

Overall, between the third and fourth quarter of last year, industry retail revenues increased by 0.8%. But total retail revenues in the twelve months to December 2014, at €3bn, were down from over €3.12bn over the 12 months previous.

The number of subscriptions taken out for machine-to-machine communications rose 4% during the quarter, reflecting the rise of the so called Internet of Things.