Ireland Internet Usage and Broadband
The number of Irish homes with an internet connection has
swelled by 74,000, according to new figures from the Central Statistics
Office of Ireland. The agency said in its "Information
Society Statistics" for 2004 that about 537,000 homes in Ireland
are connected to the net, compared to 463,000 a year ago. It also
reported that 650,000 homes, or 46 percent of Irish households,
now have a personal computer, a rise of 67,000 over a year
Most of the statistics from the CSO indicated that the
population of Ireland is continuing to accept PCs and the
internet at a steady pace, although individuals who have
traditionally been reluctant to take to the "Information Society"
remain outside the loop. For example, the CSO said that computer
usage is highest for students and persons in employment and is
lowest for those aged 65 or over. Home computer ownership and
internet access are higher in the Southern and Eastern regions,
compared to the Border, Midlands and Western regions.
Ireland was also shown to be behind many of its neighbours in
Europe, such as Denmark, where in 2003 79 percent of households
had a computer and almost two-thirds had internet access. In
Ireland, 42 percent of households had a computer and about
one-third had internet access in 2003. Likewise, in Norway, the
Netherlands, Germany and the UK, more than half of all homes had
access to the internet, the CSO noted.
Still, the report was full of signs that Ireland is progressing,
with virtually all businesses now using computers, the internet
and e-mail. Businesses mainly use the internet to search for
information, to avail of banking and financial services, and to
monitor markets, the CSO said, adding that 18 percent of
businesses use DSL broadband to connect, compared to 9 percent a
year ago. Around 14 percent of companies use some other form of
broadband, the report added.
Sales in Ireland using e-commerce account for about a quarter of
industrial turnover, the Central Statistics Office added. But it
tempered this figure by noting that only half of all businesses
have made some purchases using e-commerce, and said that such
purchases still account for a small percentage of total
purchases, except in the retail and wholesale sectors, where
about 8 percent of purchases are by EDI (Electronic Data
Among the general population, the agency said that about 727,000
people use a computer every day, while about 373,000 use the
internet at least once a day.
Northern Ireland Offers Broadband for
Thursday, February 24 2005 - The final nine telephone
exchanges in Northern Ireland have now been enabled with ADSL
technology giving broadband availability to 98.5 percent of the
region. The announcement was made by BT Northern Ireland in
association with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and
Investment (DETI) and the Building Sustainable Prosperity
A total of 191 exchanges have been unbundled in the area since
local loop unbundling began in the UK. In doing so, Northern
Ireland has become the first UK region outside of London to have
every one of its exchanges enabled for broadband.
A contract to provide 100 percent broadband coverage in Northern
Ireland, which was to be funded under the EU Building Sustainable
Prosperity programme, was awarded to BT at the end of March 2004.
Prior to winning that contract, BT had enabled between 55 and 60
percent of exchanges in Northern Ireland.
Following the enablement of BT's exchanges, over 200 internet
service providers and other companies will be able to use the
upgraded infrastructure to deliver broadband services to
customers in Northern Ireland.
Demand for broadband in Northern Ireland has increased
dramatically as exchanges have gone live. In just 12 months, the
region has moved from having one of the lowest levels of
broadband uptake in the UK to becoming the fastest growing area.
The latest industry figures show 150,000 broadband users and
demand is still growing.
"Northern Ireland now has a first-class telecommunications
infrastructure, allowing our businesses to compete in the global
marketplace and enabling all citizens to make full use of the
possibilities of the internet," said Enterprise Minister, Barry
Gardiner MP. "Our goal now is to become the first region in
Europe with 100 percent broadband access. Therefore, over coming
months, BT will focus on providing wireless broadband
infrastructure to the remaining 1.5 percent of the population
that cannot access broadband via the existing BT exchanges."
The broadband situation in Northern Ireland contrasts sharply
with that of the Republic where only a handful of exchanges have
been enabled. "From a geographical point of view, broadband
availability in Northern Ireland is now above that of Spain,
France and Germany," Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Regions
and CEO of Esat BT, told ElectricNews.Net. "I've been saying for
a long time that there are ways of building public/private
partnerships in order to push broadband coverage. What has been
done in the North can also be achieved in the Republic but in
order for that to happen there needs to be more government
Despite a rise in the number of broadband subscribers in the
Republic in recent years following the launch of cheaper
high-speed internet access services, the country still lags
behind most of Europe in terms of penetration. In a Forfas report
released last year, Ireland ranked an embarrassing 18 out of 21,
surpassing only Hungary, the Czech Republic and Greece in terms
of broadband usage. At present, fewer than 0.2 percent of
Eircom's 1.6 million phone lines have been unbundled and some
customers living within enabled exchange areas have been told
that lines are not of sufficient quality to allow ADSL.
Small Irish Firms Urged to Embrace
Information and Communication Technologies
Tuesday, January 04 2005 - In an effort to encourage small
and medium sized enterprises to optimise their usage of so-called
information and communication technologies (ICTs), the Irish
Minister for Trade and Commerce, Michael Ahern has announced a
national e-business strategy. The announcement comes in the wake
of a survey conducted by a project group led by the Department of
Enterprise Trade and Employment which has highlighted the need
for more sophisticated use of ICTs, particularly in the non-ICT
Overall this survey has revealed that computer and internet
usage is widespread among Irish businesses. Seventy-five percent
of Irish businesses use the internet to look for information and
65 percent conduct banking online. While 50 percent of businesses
have IT systems for managing orders and purchases, only 25
percent of those companies have links between these systems and
IT invoicing and payment systems. In general, the report
concluded that ICT usage amongst Irish businesses is
unsophisticated and poorly integrated.
"Virtually all Irish enterprises have access to computers and
the internet. However, we are concerned that they are not
deriving the full potential from these technologies. Businesses
must now recognise this as a major competitiveness issue," said
Minister Ahern in a statement.
"E-business is about applying technology to business processes
to reduce costs, to improve customer value and to find new
markets for products and services. A failure to recognise this
will result in higher costs, missed opportunities and loss of
business," warned the Minister.
The report has identified, what it considers to be, the main
obstacles to more effective usage of ICTs. These include the high
costs associated with ICT investment, a lack of appropriate
internal IT resources and skills and a lack of awareness as to
how ICTs an positively contribute to a company's success.
Broadband users top 700,000 in Ireland in 2007
Almost 84,000 new broadband subscriptions were added during the first quarter
of 2007, to bring the total number of high-speed internet users in Ireland to 705,300,
according to the latest quarterly report from the Commission for Communications
Regulation (ComReg). The first quarter saw the highest number of new subscriptions
since broadband was first launched in 2002. The latest figures also reveal that
for the first time the number of broadband subscriptions exceeded 'narrowband'
subscriptions in Ireland.
At the end of the first quarter, there were a total of almost 1.046 million active
internet subscriptions in Ireland. Broadband now accounts for 58 percent of all
connections, a penetration rate of just over 14 percent. In the first quarter of
2005, broadband accounted for just 19 percent of all internet subscriptions.
ComReg estimates that there are currently around 450,000 residential sector
broadband subscriptions in Ireland. This is equivalent to 30 percent of all
households, compared to 25.4 percent for the previous quarter.