Average broadband speeds in Ireland are getting faster - but we still lag behind many of our closest European neighbours.
A new study from Cable.co.uk has revealed that Ireland’s broadband speeds continue to improve, however we lag behind many other developed countries.
With an average download speed of just over 76Mbps, up from 72Mbps last year, Ireland ranks 43rd out of 220 countries and territories worldwide, a fall from 36th place last year.
Out of the 47 countries and territories tested in Europe, Ireland comes a somewhat poor 28th.
The study looked at data from over 1.3 billion broadband speed tests worldwide and was collected over the 12 months up to 30th June 2023.
The data was gathered by M-Lab, a non-profit open source project with contributors from educational institutions and private sector companies, and analysed and compiled by Cable.co.uk.
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.
The self-governing dependency of Jersey has the fastest broadband in the world with an average speed of 264.52Mbps.
The tiny principality of Liechtenstein comes second with an average speed of 246.76Mbps.
Macau, the autonomous region on the south coast of China, is in third spot with an average speed of 231.40Mbps.
Iceland comes next with an average speed of 229.35Mbps while the tiny British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar is fifth with an average speed of 206.27Mbps.
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 criteria too and we're not doing quite as well...
The five countries in the world with the slowest network speeds are Afghanistan (1.71Mbps), Yemen (1.79Mbps), Syria (2.30Mbps), East Timor (2.50Mbps) and Equatorial Guinea (2.70Mbps).
Downloading a movie of 5GB in size would take 2m 35s at the average speed experienced in table-topper Jersey, while it would take over 6 and a half HOURS in last-placed Afghanistan. In Ireland, at average speeds, the movie would take just under 9 minutes to download - around one minute quicker than last year!
As mentioned, 30 of the top 50 fastest countries for broadband are in Europe, with six in Asia, six in the Caribbean region, three in North America, three in South America, one in the Near East and one in Oceania. By contrast, 32 of the 50 slowest-performing countries are located in Sub-Saharan or Northern Africa.
48 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 67 countries last year and 94 countries in 2021, indicating significant speed improvements in many parts of the world.
|Speed in Mbps
|Time to download 5GB Movie
The good and the bad
Although average speeds in Ireland have improved slightly 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 over 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 packages offering up to 2,000Mbps.
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:
Speeds have increased globally by 30.044% since the same period in 2021/2022. Meanwhile, Europe continues to dominate the global league table, extending its lead over much of the world as FTTP full fibre continues to make an increasingly large dent in consumer uptake.
Not happy with your broadband speed?
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