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Ireland ranks 29th in global broadband speed test

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Ireland ranks 29th in global broadband speed test
Daragh Cassidy

Daragh Cassidy

Head Writer

New research reveals that Ireland continues to lag behind the rest of Europe in terms of broadband speeds, although things are improving.

A new study today from has revealed that Ireland’s broadband speeds, although improving, continue to lag behind many other developed countries. 

With an average download speed of 23.87Mb, Ireland comes 29th out of 207 countries globally, a rise of seven from last year, and ahead of countries like the UK in 34th place and Australia in 50th position. 

However Ireland lags behind 21 other European countries. 

The study analysed data from over 276 million individual broadband speed tests worldwide.

The results in detail

Taiwan has eclipsed Singapore this year as the world’s fastest country for broadband with average speeds of 85.02Mb compared to Singapore's average speeds of 75.86Mb. War-torn Yemen came in last for the third year in a row with an average speed of just 0.38Mb.

This means downloading a 5GB HD movie would take just over eight minutes in table-topping Taiwan but over 30 hours in last placed Yemen. In Ireland, at average speeds, the movie would take just under half an hour to download. 

The data was collected over the 12 months up to 8th May this year by M-Lab, an open source project with contributors from civil society organisations, educational institutions, and private sector companies.

The five fastest countries have download speeds around 125 times faster than the five slowest, with the gap widening from 88 times last year.

Thirty-seven of the top 50 fastest-performing countries are located in Europe, with 10 in the Asia and Pacific region, two in North America and just one in Africa. By contrast, 25 of the 50 slowest-performing countries are located in Africa.

Global broadband speed has risen from 9.14Mb in the 12 months to 10 May 2018 to 11.03Mb in the 12 months to 8 May 2019 – a year-on-year increase of 20.65%, compared to a global increase the previous year of 23.35%. In Ireland average speed increased by over 31% from 2018.

However almost 70% of the countries tested (141) failed to achieve average speeds above 10Mb, a speed deemed by the UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom to be the minimum required to cope with the needs of a typical family or small business.

Position Country Average Speeds Mb
1 Taiwan 85.02
2 Singapore 70.86
3 Jersey 67.46
4 Sweden 55.18
5 Denmark 49.19
6 Japan 42.77
7 Luxembourg 41.69
8 Netherlands 40.21
9 Switzerland 38.85
10 San Marino 38.73
29 Ireland 23.87
34 UK 22.37

The bad news

Coming in at 29th doesn’t sound too terrible globally speaking. However most of our major competitors for jobs and investment such as Switzerland, the Netherlands, the US and Sweden rank well ahead of us

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

What's more, the much maligned National Broadband Plan, which promises to equip over half a million rural homes and businesses with high-speed fibre broadband has been beset with problems and delays since its inception, much to the frustration and consternation of thousands of residents across the country.  

The plan was recently approved by Cabinet but many have scoffed at the €3bn projected cost and it remains to be seen when work will actually commence. 

The good news

It’s not all doom and gloom! 

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 100Mb and some even go above and beyond. For instance Virgin Media offers speeds of up to 250Mb as standard, with its top-level package now offering a whopping 500Mb.  

Meanwhile SIRO, a joint venture between the ESB and Vodafone to bring pure fibre broadband with speeds of up to 1,000Mb to regional towns across the country, has now passed 250,000 households.  

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 are 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  


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