Is Next Generation Broadband a pig in a poke?

Is Next Generation Broadband a pig in a poke?

IrelandOffline have recently examined a very large Speed Test data series from Ookla Netindex ( and we believe the Next Generation Broadband product does not live up to the hype. In fact it is just the same old technology dressed up with a marketing facelift.

We were stunned to see average broadband speeds dropping in Dublin since March 2010 and have come to the inescapable conclusion that the eircom Next Generation Broadband Fibre Power rollout is the direct cause of this slowdown. The Next Generation Broadband rollout started in March and is by and large complete in Dublin. The raw data is available for anybody to download and analyse.(5)

In theory the majority of eircom customers as of March 2010 in Dublin were then typically on 3Mbits and should now be on 8Mbits given the shorter lines one would expect in Dublin. Therefore In theory, everybody should be faster now. Comparable European capital/business centre cities like Amsterdam London and Paris are around 3 times faster than Dublin is today.

eircom (and their resellers) together with UPC account for the vast majority of Dublin Broadband customers.

Commenting on these results Eamonn Wallace Chairperson of IrelandOffline said:

“The failure of this upgrade proves that stopgap measures are no longer sustainable and that marketing hype will never deliver acceptable broadband speeds. A full scale fibre optic rollout is the only viable way to deliver fast speeds for the ordinary consumer. This is extremely important for the future good health of the so called Smart Economy and in order to retain and attract FDI to the Dublin Region”

The major broadband speed upgrades that occurred during the time period 2008 -2010 were as follows:

March/April 2008 eircom upgrade 3Mbit customers to 7.6Mbits/2Mbits to 3Mbits (1)
July 2008 UPC upgrade all customers{2)
January 2010 UPC upgrade all customers again (3)
March 2010 onwards eircom launch NGB upgrading all customers to minimum of ‘up to’ 8Mbits.

It is evident from the data that the UPC upgrades show up strongly and immediately in the Dublin speed test data as did the noticeable March/April 2008 eircom upgrade. It is further evident that these speed gains hold after the event. Seemingly however the eircom Next Generation upgrade has slowed down average Broadband speeds in Dublin.


1.) 2008 eircom upgrade explained by former IrelandOffline Chairperson Damien Mulley

2.) UPC announce upgrade July 2008

3) UPC announce upgrade January 2010

4) eircom announce Next Generation Broadband and spee

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2 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Next Generation Broadband would be grand. But most of eircom’s NGB would only have been that over ten years ago. Replacing ISDN/ATM backhaul was BT’s 21CN and had 50% of UK by 2008. That’s only Connection from Exchange to Internet, not the User’s Broadband. So eircom is upgrading to what Digiweb and Magnet and BT have had for years. Better IP based backhaul. The user connection is 10+ year old technology. and

  1. May 22, 2012

    […] still behind Poland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, and Kyrgyzstan…It even appears that broadband speeds in Ireland are getting worse.I must say, from a broadband perspective, at the moment I’m pretty happy to be living in the […]

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