According to the latest data published by Ireland’s telecoms regulator ComReg, the Republic was home to more than 1.624 million fixed and mobile broadband connections at the end of March 2011, up 10.4% year-on-year and 2.1% quarter-on-quarter. Stripping out mobile broadband connections of 591,368, the regulator reported a little over 1.033 million fixed broadband connections, up 5.3% y-o-y, with much of the growth being driven by cable modem-based users.
In the year to 31 March 2011 the total number of cable subscriptions rose 33.7% to 218,519, while xDSL users increased by 0.8% to 729,890. Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) connections declined by 11.6% to 75,529 in the twelve months under review, although ComReg noted a small 1.7% rise in such connections between 31 December and the end of the first quarter. ‘Other’ broadband access reached 9,197, up 12% y-o-y, although conversely the total dipped 1.2% between 4Q10 and 1Q11. Meanwhile, mobile broadband continues to expand, growing 20.7% year-on-year and 3.4% quarter-on-quarter – according to the watchdog’s findings. Mobile broadband now represents 36.4% of all high speed subscriptions, behind DSL lines (44.9%). Dial-up lines continue to fall: narrowband subscriptions totalled 40,604 at end-March, equivalent to just 2.4% of all internet subscriptions.