Recent Akamai report – 2012
“Selective, inaccurate and misleading”
These were the words used by Mr Justice Moriarty in relation to information supplied by the Department of Communications to its then minister Alan Dukes. Mr Dukes unwittingly misled his Dáil colleagues as a result of this misinformation. Nothing much has changed in the last 15 years. Department of Communications officials sent their Minister out to bat for Ireland with Broadband Performance data that is at best incomplete and,in our opinion, seemingly suspect.
On Wednesday, May 2nd in Dublin’s Digital Hub at the launch of the Next Generation Broadband Taskforce Report, communications minister Pat Rabbitte misled his audience with selective, inaccurate and misleading information in a vain attempt to flatter Ireland’s broadband status.
Furthermore he misled Dáil Eireann by repeating the same misinformation.
The information concerns a report from Akamai named “the State of the Internet” Q4 2011 and on the relative quality of broadband in countries globally and regionally. This report only serves to highlight the current “Digital Divide” between the main urban areas and the rest of the country.
- The Akamai methodology only accepts figures from fixed line connections in three Irish cities; Dublin, Cork and Limerick.
- Akamai’s methodology excludes all mobile connections (meaning all NBS customers)
- No Irish city is in the top 100 Global cities yet somehow Ireland overall is shown in the top 10 for download speeds.
- One provider, mainly in the cities, is skewing the figures for the whole island. This report only serves to highlight the growing “digital divide” between areas that are served by cable broadband and the rest of the country. Rollout of FTTC/FTTP connections are sorely needed in all areas (urban and rural) to lift the average connection speed for the vast majority of consumers throughout the Republic
Most Tellingly Ireland along with Slovakia and Italy Topped the NARROWBAND table in Europe. This serves to demonstrate the growing “digital divide” as outlined in the report and the failure of the incumbent to address broadband coverage in mostly rural areas, leaving over 20,000 consumers with no broadband at all.
Figure 35: Narrowband Connectivity, Slowest European Countries
– Italy 0.7% -7.9% -30%
– Slovakia 0.7% -35% -48%
– Ireland 0.7% -16% -70%
– Belgium 0.3% 35% 0.3%
– Austria 0.3% 0.4% -40%
– Poland 0.2% -8.5% -69%
– Portugal 0.2% 7.2% -37%
– Czech Republic 0.2% 78% -10%
– Hungary 0.1% -6.7% -57%
– Romania 0.1% -15% -56%
Sadly Minister Rabbitte did not choose to apologise for this table topping exercise on his watch.
Akamai’s report stands on its own merits, but in extrapolating fixed line data from just three Irish cities to the whole country, Mr Rabbitte has given a misleading, inaccurate and selective picture of the state of broadband in Ireland as a whole. Most Irish consumers outside of the main cities are stuck on DSL or mobile technology which usually reach the dizzying speeds of 3Mbs, hardly something to shout about.
We, in IrelandOffline, will continue analysing a more realistic dataset and depict the true situation in our continuing series of quarterly reports. The next report is due in June.
IrelandOffline calls on minister Rabbitte to publicly clarify the methodology behind the Akamai statistics and to make a statement in Dáil Eireann correcting the misleading picture he described on the second of May in a written answer to Deputy Bernard Durkan.