The challenges facing the faltering national broadband plan (NBP) have been exacerbated by a report highlighting how costs in Ireland are among the highest in the EU despite much poorer speeds.
Studies carried out by BDRC Continental and Cable.co.uk found that Ireland is the third most expensive country in the EU for broadband but is only the 22nd fastest. Ireland ranks behind only Malta and Luxembourg when it comes to broadband costs among EU members.
Ireland is eighth overall in Europe when non-EU countries such as Iceland and Switzerland are factored in.
The study analysed almost 3,500 broadband packages across 196 countries between August and October, finding that the average monthly price of broadband in Ireland is just over €60.
Bonkers.ie head of communications Mark Whelan said: “These findings paint the picture of a market in which price does not match quality of service. Unfortunately, prices seem to be heading in one direction only — Eir, Sky, Virgin Media, and Vodafone have all announced increases in the last few weeks. This pattern is likely to leave many customers feeling disillusioned.”
Ireland’s broadband challenge has been highlighted in recent years by the slow pace of rolling out the much-touted NBP.
The plan, which aims to deliver high-speed broadband to every citizen and business, has been beset by delays and a contract has still not been awarded to one of the three original bidders of Eir, Siro, and Enet. Siro, a joint venture between Vodafone and ESB, pulled out of the plan in September.