IrelandOffline Quarterly Report Q1 2012

IrelandOffline Quarterly Report Q1 2012

This is the latest IrelandOffline Quarterly report, based as always on Ookla Netindex Data.

Two particular issues are highlighted in this report.

1. Why is Bandwidth, measured as in $ per mbit delivered, so expensive overall  in Ireland.

2. The Urban-Rural divide.  


Ireland dropped 8 places to 53rd place in the World during Q4 2011 and staged an insipid  recovery to 51st in Q1 2012. We passed Vietnam for download speeds and just avoided being passed by nearby Laos for Upload speeds.

In Quarter 1 2012 Ireland’s Position is as follows:

Ireland is  51st in the World  for Download Speeds and 24th out of 27 in the EU (53rd/24th Q4 2011)
Ireland is  74th in the World for Upload Speed  and 23rd out of 27 in the EU (71st/24th Q4 2011)
Ireland is  25th in the World up for Quality and 13th of *26* in the EU (23rd/18th Q4 2011
Ireland is  53rd in the World for  Promise and 23rd out of 27 in the EU (53rd/23rd Q4 2011)
Ireland is  43rd in the World  in Cost per Mbps and 26th out of 27 in the EU (43rd/25th Q4 2011)

Note on the Cost per mbit figure.

1. Why is Bandwidth, measured as in $ per mbit delivered, so expensive overall  in Ireland.

The cheapest broadband cost in the EU, measured in $ per month paid per delivered mbit is in Bulgaria, that $0.64 per mbit.

Ireland is second most expensive at $8.85 per mbit only trumped by Cyprus at $16.03. The Median price is in Belgium in which is 14th Place with $4.19  In other words most EU countries charge $4.19 per mbit delivered or less. In Ireland we pay over twice that.

Ireland relies to an inordinate extent on Mobile Broadband which typically delivers an experience around 2mbits average speed and for which the customer pays $25 a month. This results in a cost per Mbit as delivered of around $12.

2. The Urban-Rural divide.  ( and the Urban – Urban divide ) in Ireland.

Recently enabled and cabled towns, typically towns with populations between 5,000 and 20,000 are vastly outperforming  our main cities which are the main employment centres. UPC cable is largely confined to residential areas rather than core employment centres in the cities, where available.

The lack of Fast and Reasonably priced broadband in Employment Zones in the large Cities has become a critical structural bottleneck. That together with the lack of decent, reasonably priced broadband in Rural and Small Town Ireland are our two biggest problems today.

The Top 10 Towns have an average speed of 16.48mbits in Q1 2012 up from 13.16mbits in Q4 2011  and up from 12.64mbits in Q3 2011

Ireland’s top ten cities/towns and download speeds Q1 2012
1 Portarlington        23 Mbps
2 Lucan        22 Mbps
3 Swords         20 Mbps
4 Tallaght         15 Mbps
5 Waterford         14 Mbps
6 Mullingar         14 Mbps
7 Athlone        14 Mbps
8 Bray            14 Mbps
9 Clane        14 Mbps
10 Maynooth        14 Mbps

Ireland’s top ten cities/towns and download speeds Q4 2011
1 Athlone        17.48 Mbps
2 Swords         15.12 Mbps
3 Celbridge         14.12 Mbps
4 Waterford         13.60 Mbps
5 Clonmel        12.35 Mbps
6 Lucan         12.24 Mbps
7 Greystones         11.89 Mbps
8 Maynooth         11.78 Mbps
9 Tallaght         11.62 Mbps
10 Mullingar         11.11 Mbps

As ever none of the Big Cities are in the top 10.
*Dublin is in 17th place on 10.67 mbits*
*Cork is in  23rd place on 9.23 mbits*

Dublin has steadily  dropped to 17th Overall in Q1 2012 from 13th fastest overall in Q4 2011 and down from 12th fastest in Q3 2011.

Operator Speeds In The Main Cities, Q1 2012.

The most crucial piece of data in there is the sheer meaninglessness of eircoms NGB advertising. eircom has migrated many of its customers from fixed 1 or 3 mbit products to ‘up to’ 8mbit packages over the course of the 6 quarters shown in those figures.

However the net gain in delivered speeds has been an increase from 4mbits to 4.7mbits over that time. A very good example of the ‘meaninglessness’ of this Next Generation marketing exercise is shown in the speed test results  since 2009 from Navan County Meath.

NGB deployment took the average Navan Man from around 3 mbits to perhaps 3.5mbits overnight.

Meanwhile the average  UPC customer left the average eircom customer in the dust.

Source =,74539/Navan/?tab=3

Furthermore UPC Customers are seeing the performance gap closing between the services available  in Ireland and those available to UPC customers in other EU countries. Nevertheless Ireland Offline is concerned at recent comments that were  made about UPC ‘flatlining’ their speed roadmap  and we will attempt to clarify this over the course of the quarter.

That is of major concern because the only noticeable large scale improvement in Irish Broadband speeds is largely coming from UPC customers. It was they alone who got us past Vietnam during  this quarter.

EU Download Speeds Q1 2012.

EU Upload Speeds Q1 2012

EU Download Speed Performance Gap
Google Netindex Visualisation (Select Download Speeds) January 2008 (Source)

Google Netindex Visualisation (Select Download Speeds) November 2011 (Source)


Click on an INDIVIDUAL country inside a listing for City and ISP Statistical Drilldowns.

Download Index
World (All Countries)
Town and City Speeds,49/Ireland/
Upload Index
Quality Index
Promise Index
Cost Index.,7/EU/#COUNTRY_RANK ( click Cost per Mbit)
Click HERE To get a Visualisation (press play button to see the last 3 years)

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