Ireland has been placed 13th of 72 countries worldwide for broadband leadership, according to a new survey.
The study, carried out on behalf of Cisco Systems Inc. by Saïd Business School at Oxford University, shows that worldwide, broadband quality has increased 48% in the last two years.
In the broadband leadership ranks, Ireland’s moves to 13th place from 16th last year - ahead of France, Canada, the United States and the UK among others. Ireland is also grouped amongst the top ten “broadband movers” since 2009 with 88% broadband penetration, an 11% increase on the previous year.
The results have been welcomed by Communications Minister Eamon Ryan, who said Ireland has seen a spike in broadband improvement over the past two years.
“This improvement”, said Minister Ryan “is a reflection of the Government’s progressive broadband policy, which encourages collaboration as well as competition
“In two years, €1.5bn of public and private monies have been invested in our broadband networks and services. Broadband subscriptions have more than doubled from 600,000 to 1.5 million.
“Service providers here are already beginning to deliver the 100 megabit connections in 2010 that Europe is seeking for 2020,” Minister Ryan added.
“With ongoing investment in our networks and improvements in quality, speed and availability, we are significantly progressing.”
These assertions were however challenged by Eamonn Wallace of consumer advocacy group IrelandOffline, who said Ireland has some of the highest costs for basic broadband in the world and was “fossilised in a broadband mediocrity”.
“With the lowest telecommunications Investment in the developed world (as a % of GDP) we are therefore guaranteed to remain in absolute and total mediocrity for the foreseeable future,” Mr Wallace said in a statement.