Image Ireland climbs 8 places in global broadband speed ranking
Image Daragh Cassidy
Head Writer

Average broadband speeds in Ireland are getting faster - but we still lag behind many of our closest European neighbours.

A new study today from Cable.co.uk has revealed that Ireland’s broadband speeds are improving, however we continue to lag behind many other developed countries. 

With an average download speed of just over 72Mbps, up from 51Mbps last year, Ireland ranks 36th out of 220 countries and territories worldwide, a jump from 44th place last year and 51st place the year before.

However out of the 47 countries and territories tested in Europe, Ireland comes a somewhat poor 27th - though this is still a rise from 31st place last year. 

The study analysed data from over 1.1billion broadband speed tests worldwide and was collected over the 12 months up to 30th June of this year by Cable.co.uk, and the data gathered by M-Lab, an open source project with contributors from civil society organisations, educational institutions, and private sector companies.

The results in detail

Europe dominates the global speed table once again this year: 30 of the top 50 fastest countries are located in the region. And smaller countries have definitely fared best.

However Macau, the autonomous region on the south coast of China, has the fastest broadband in the world at an average speed of 262.74Mbps.

The self-governing dependency of Jersey offers the second fastest broadband globally with an average speed of 256.59Mbps.

Iceland is in third spot with an average speed of 216.56Mbps while the tiny principality of Liechtenstein comes next with an average speed of 166.22Mbps. Gibraltar is fifth with average speeds of 159.90Mbps.

It will be immediately striking to most that all of these countries share similarities. Most are within Western Europe, are wealthy, and all are either very small or island nations. It is much easier to roll out pure fibre broadband and 5G mobile broadband to a smaller population and/or across a smaller area after all.

Mind you, Ireland fits most of this this criteria too and we're not doing quite as well...

The five countries in the world with the slowest network speeds are Turkmenistan (0.77Mbps), Timor Leste (0.94Mbps), Yemen (0.97Mbps), Guinea-Bissau (0.98Mbps), and Afghanistan (0.97Mbps).

Downloading a HD movie of 5GB in size would take 2m 36s at the average speed experienced in table-topper Macau, while it would take almost 15 hours in last-placed Turkmenistan. In Ireland, at average speeds, the movie would take just under 10 minutes to download - around three minutes quicker than last year! 

As mentioned, 30 of the top 50 fastest countries for broadband are in Europe, with eight in Asia, three in the Caribbean region, four in Northern America, and just one in Sub-Saharan Africa. By contrast, 29 of the 50 slowest-performing countries are located in Sub-Saharan or Northern Africa.

67 countries failed to achieve average speeds of 10Mbps or greater, the speed deemed by UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom to be the minimum required to cope with the needs of a typical family or small business. This is down from 94 countries in 2021, indicating significant speed improvements in many parts of the world.

Position Country Average Speed Mbps
1 Macau 262.74
2 Jersey 256.59
3 Iceland 216.56
4 Liechtenstein 166.22
5 Gibraltar 159.90
6 Andorra 159.80
7 Taiwan 135.88
8 Luxembourg 131.95
9 Japan 122.33
10 France 120.01
21 New Zealand 94.44
30 Sweden 86.76
33 Germany 72.95
35 UK 72.06
36 Ireland 70.42
54 Australia 47.22
56 Italy 46.77
67 Greece 39.31
220 Turkmenistan 0.77

The good and the bad

Although average speeds in Ireland have improved significantly this year according to the study, many of our major competitors for jobs and investment such as the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Sweden rank well ahead of us.

Also, these are average speeds. While some homes and businesses will meet and even far surpass these speeds, many homes in rural areas in particular are still stuck without any form of high-speed broadband whatsoever.   

However, the National Broadband Plan, which will equip over half a million homes and businesses in rural Ireland with high-speed, pure fibre broadband, has finally got going, with around 100,000 premises having already been connected.  

Meanwhile SIRO, a joint venture between the ESB and Vodafone to bring pure fibre broadband with speeds of up to 2,000Mbps to regional towns across the country, has now passed almost 500,000 households.  

And if you're lucky enough to live in an urban area of Ireland you shouldn't have too many issues finding a broadband provider to cover your needs in terms of speed and coverage. All of the major providers offer speeds of up to 100Mbps and some even go above and beyond. For instance Virgin Media offers speeds of up to 250Mbps as standard, with its top-level package now offering a whopping 1,000Mbps.  

With all this going on, it will be interesting to see how Ireland fares in the rankings over the coming years. 

Commenting on the results, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, said:

Europe absolutely dominates the leaderboard once again thanks to largely excellent infrastructure. In all cases, those countries ranking highest are those with a strong focus on pure fibre networks, with those countries dawdling too much on FTTC and ADSL solutions slipping further down year-on-year. There is also a strong correlation between the size of the geographical area in question and the speed offered, with smaller countries/locations easier to service and upgrade and therefore often offering faster average speeds."

Not happy with your broadband speed?

How does your broadband speed measure up in comparison? Why not perform a speed test and see what kind of speeds you're actually getting?

And if you’re not satisfied, it might be time to shop around for a new provider. You can compare and switch providers quickly and easily right here on bonkers.ie.  

But before you switch, here are seven things to consider before you choose your next provider.