03 December 2008

Broadband Operators con Millions in Ireland

Like a string of pearls one Irish scandal lines up neatly beside the next, and the next, and the next...
Today we had already the revelation that we pay a lot more for petrol and diesel than anyone else in the EU, but since there are so many scandals in Ireland, they now come out at the rate of two per day. So - here is the second for today:

New research shows that broadband subscribers in Ireland can rarely access the maximum connection speeds advertised by Internet service providers.

A study on broadband available in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick has found that - on average - consumers with fixed lines benefit from just 60% of the advertised speeds, for which they pay a monthly fee.
This is like being charged for champagne, but being served a cheap third-rate sparkling wine from Italy.

The report by the Epitiro Internet monitoring firm has found that wireless and mobile users do slightly better, receiving on average about 64% of the bandwidth they pay for. But still, this is less than 2/3 of the service one has contracted and pays for.

A high-speed Internet connection helps web pages to load faster, makes it easier to download or view video content, and increases the potential for gaming or making telephone calls over the world-wide web.

The Epitiro results were compiled following over 5 million tests on the services offered by nine different companies.

Overall, Smart Telecom was deemed to be the best of the providers surveyed, followed by BT Ireland and Digiweb. And to no-one's surprise Eircom - Europe's worst and still most expensive telecommunications company - brings up the rear, carrying the red lantern.

Because the report only examined trends in urban areas, further tests are planned in 2009, to compare services on an urban to rural basis.

The authors of the report say that broadband users should be aware of their connection speed and chose their provider and subscription according to their needs.

There are easy ways to test one's one connection speed, and if one finds that the actual speed is significantly lower than the service one is billed for, a serious word with the service provider is advisable.

The Emerald Islander

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