Ireland rises in world internet speed rankings but 57th for mobile

The world’s internet speeds rose by more than 30 per cent this year, according to a new report that shows Ireland is currently performing better than the global average for both mobile and fixed broadband connectivity.

Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index, which measures internet performance in more than 120 countries, ranks Ireland 34th in the world for fixed broadband connectivity speeds, up four places.

The Republic was ranked in 57th spot for mobile, an increase of three spots versus the last survey.

While Ireland’s ranking has improved over the year, it is worth noting that some 119 countries performed better than the global average. Internet connectivity here remains patchy to say the least, with those living in rural areas facing significant issues getting online.

A report earlier this year found that in an analysis of 63 million broadband speed tests internationally by broadband speed comparison site cable.co.uk, Ireland was only 36th among a range of countries. We trailed 25 European counterparts.

Ireland’s average fixed broadband speed average was 42 Mbps, with mobile at 20.70Mbps. The current global average for fixed broadband is 40.11Mbps download and 19.96 upload. Mobile is 20.28 Mbps download, and 8.65 Mbps upload.

Uploads

During 2017, global fixed broadband downloads jumped 31.6 per cent on average, while uploads gaining 25.9 per cent. Mobile speeds rose 30.1 per cent, with uploads increasing by 38.9 per cent..

At present Norway has the fastest mobile networks in the world with an average speed of 62.66Mbps, while Netherlands is second on 53.01Mbps. Iceland (52.78Mbps), Singapore (51.50Mbps) and Malta (50.46Mbps) round out the top five.

Singapore leads the rankings in fixed broadband with average speeds of 153.85Mbps, followed by Iceland, which jumped one place to second with 147.51Mbps, Hong Kong is third with 133.94Mbps, South Korea is fourth with 127.45Mbps and Romania is fifth with 104.46Mbps.

Mayo concerns raised over ‘flawed’ national plan

Mayo concerns raised over ‘flawed’ national plan.

OFFICIALS at the highest levels within Mayo County Council have expressed serious concern that the west and northwest will lose out badly if the strategy proposed in the National Planning Framework (Ireland 2040) is approved by the Oireachtas.

Ian Douglas, senior planner with the authority, said: “In my view, this is not a national planning framework. It is really just a framework for five big towns (Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford).

Mr. Douglas produced a map – not available on the National Planning Framework (NPF) website – which shows Mayo and most western counties in white, outside the main NPF framework.

He rejected suggestions that Mayo will benefit from the sphere of influence of Galway, claiming that the influence of the city will be in a southerly rather than northerly direction. Mr Douglas said the council had supported the case for Sligo to be given some recognition as a ‘sub regional centre’ somewhere between the larger towns and the smaller centres. In its submission to the NPF, the council highlighted the need for greater infrastructure in the region.

There seemed, Mr. Douglas added, to be no recognition in the plan of the importance of Ireland West Airport Knock as a regional driver. Mr. Douglas concluded his remarks by stating he wasn’t convinced there was a genuine consultation process. “It’s going to get political now,” he continued. “It has got political.”

John Condon, director of services, said a critical stage has been reached as regards the NPF. He appealed to councillors with connections in the Oireachtas to lobby to get the plan changed ‘in a way that would benefit us’. Councillors Al McDonnell (FF), Neil Cruise (FG) and Michael Smyth (FF), cathaoirleach, all agreed that the plan, as proposed, should be rejected.

Councillor McDonnell claimed 38% of the Mayo landmass is excluded. “This is not a national plan at all,” he protested. “It is very seriously flawed.”

The councillor also said he was worried about future restrictions on rural planning that would diminish the council’s influence as a local planning authority and destroy members’ ability to make their own discretionary county development plan. Councillor Cruise warned of a two-tier country – a first and third world nation – if the plan, as proposed, is adopted by the Oireachtas.

“We’ll be left with crumbs on the table,” he warned. Councillor Smyth agreed that the plan is ‘lopsided’. He added it is tied in with the national broadband plan which was taking too long and leaving some people in rural areas ‘high and dry’.

Catch the full article here in the Times
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