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Ireland: Survey highlights broadband importance

March 31, 2021

The latest Connectivity Survey from Ireland’s electronic communications sector regulator ComReg highlights the important role of broadband services for remote working and the likely take-up of faster broadband services in the future.

The survey, conducted by Red C Research, finds that 79 per cent of people consider home broadband to be important, rising to 95 per cent among those people who are regularly working remotely. Overall, 74 per cent of people are satisfied with the overall experience of their home broadband, with trust in a service provider, price and download speed being the most common reasons to choose a service provider. Amongst those people who experience service issues, slow broadband speeds and unreliable connections are the common issues experienced.

Forty-five per cent of those surveyed said they would benefit from faster broadband services, with those outside Dublin reporting a higher level of interest in getting a faster broadband service. 72 per cent of people say they are likely to take up a faster broadband service if it becomes available in their area.

The survey results show a high level of satisfaction after switching broadband service provider. More than 80 per cent those who had switched broadband provider reported their overall experience, download speed and reliability of their connection had improved since switching. Thirty per cent of those with a home broadband service who are out of contract in the next 12 months plan to consider switching service provider.

More than half (55 per cent) of people now avail of the bundle of telecommunications services, with double and triple-play bundles of home phone, broadband and TV services being the most common. The survey results also highlight the growing importance of streaming TV content. Half of those with a TV service no use a streaming service (such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, AppleTV+ and Disney+). 79 per cent of those who are streaming TV content are now watching less traditional TV or have stopped watching traditional TV altogether.

“We’re all spending a lot of time at home these days with more people than ever before going online,” notes Commenting on the results from the Connectivity Survey, ComReg Commissioner Robert Mourik. “ComReg’s latest Connectivity Survey highlights the importance of telecommunication services to our everyday lives. While we are pleased that the vast majority of people are satisfied with their services, some people continue to experience issues. Our research also highlights the potential benefits of switching service provider to get a better service. ComReg offers a comparison tool and advice on its website to enable consumers to make informed decisions and choose and use telecommunications services with confidence.”

Key findings:

Broadband – Current Ownership and Faster Services

Importance: 79 per cent say home broadband is very important. 95 per cent of those working from home say home broadband is very important.

Trust in a brand is a key reason why consumers are with their current broadband supplier. Promised speed of internet connection is also a reason why 1 in 4 choose their current supplier.

Faster Broadband Service: 45 per cent of people consider they would benefit from a faster broadband connection. 72 per cent likely to take up high speed broadband if it becomes available. This figure is highest in least populated areas of the country.

Satisfaction & Experience

Satisfaction: 74 per cent of broadband users are satisfied with their overall experience. Satisfaction tends to be higher for billing process and length of contract than speed of broadband and customer service.

The most common issues experienced are slow/variable speeds and quality of internet connection.

Bundling & Switching

Services in a Bundle: 55 per cent of the population have a bundle of services in their home. This figure is higher in Dublin and more urban areas.

One in five bundle owners who are out of contract or contract expires within 12 months state they are likely to switch bundle within the next 12 months. 45 per cent of those who switched bundles previously now have a lower bill within the current bundle. 71 per cent of those who switched bundles compared bundles before making the switch. 43 per cent of those with a broadband service have ever switched broadband supplier.

Overall, the vast majority of people who have switched broadband provider have seen an improvement in overall experience, download speeds and reliability. The majority of those who switched their broadband service are happier with their current service provider.

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