Irish use of online news second lowest

At just 43%, Ireland has the second lowest percentage of internet users who read the news or newspapers online in the EU.

And, broadband access here continues to lag behind the rest of Europe.

According to a new study published by Eurostat, in the last three months only France, at 38%, had a lower percentage of internet users who read the news or newspapers online than Ireland. This is well below the EU average of 61%.

In other areas, such as using the internet for online banking (56%), posting messages to social media (59%), travel and accommodation (61%), Ireland was above the EU average.

Finland came out top for internet banking (91%) and online travel services (69%). Portugal had the largest share of internet users who posted messages to social media (75%). The Czech Republic (35%), and France (40%) had the lowest.

The Netherlands (17%) recorded a proportion of internet users who created websites and blogs in 2012 that was almost double the EU average of 9%. Ireland fell somewhat below this average at 5% — the joint lowest in the EU.

Meanwhile, the study shows Ireland’s broadband connectivity remains below the European average of 72%, with just 65% of homes having a broadband connection.

Currently, only 10 countries in the EU have a poorer rate of broadband connection than Ireland with Turkey at the foot of ladder on 43%.

In terms of internet access, Ireland has improved its access rate steadily from 50% in 2006 to 81% this year and is now above the European average of 76%.

A broadband study released by the European Commission earlier this month found that nowhere outside Dublin has more than 25% superfast broadband coverage, with many rural areas close to zero.

However, it did stress that superfast coverage in the capital is already at 89%.


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