Rural broadband costs 1000% more than urban, Bonkers.ie

Survey blasts lack of choice outside cities

 Parts of rural Ireland face an annual 1,200% (€1,476) differential for the cost of personal broadband compared with most urban areas according to research by price comparison website Bonkers.ie.

The results of the survey found that personal broadband packages with similar download speeds and data allowances can cost as little as €120 per year for a mobile Internet subscription; or as much as €1,595.88 for customers with no choice but to access the Internet with a satellite provider.

Rural users are also at a distinct disadvantage in terms of choice. Urban dwellers in areas like Dublin and Cork can choose from as many as 13 providers offering over 120 packages, while some rural areas may be limited to a handful of satellite packages from as few as two providers.

With such a huge array of packages and connection types now available in Ireland, the bonkers.ie broadband comparison service has been designed to help people find the best value and the right provider based upon how they wish to connect to the Internet or where in Ireland they live.

Commenting at the launch of the broadband and home phone comparison service, David Kerr, managing director of bonkers.ie, said: "With hundreds of broadband and home phone packages to choose from, different types of service to decide between and complex packages to unravel, it hasn't always been easy for consumers to find the right broadband provider."

According to Comreg customers are showing an increased awareness of choice in the marketplace, with 15% switching ISPs over the last 12 months - the highest level of switching activity in the last two years. Of those that switched, 69% said they did so because a cheaper deal or a better package was available with another provider.

Published on techcentral.ie 17 September and PC Live Magazine 6 October 2010

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