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Survey highlights the growing reliance on telecommunications as 77% say usage has increased due to Covid-19

ComReg has today published the results of its second survey on the impact of Covid-19 on telecommunications use in Ireland.

The ComReg survey – which was conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes – shows that 77% of broadband users have seen an increase in the usage of their home broadband service since Covid-19 restrictions were introduced. This figure has increased from 61% in April 2020 when the survey was last conducted, highlighting the growing reliance on home broadband services.

The survey shows that prior to the beginning of the Covid-19 restrictions 29% of workers worked from home to some extent, today that figure has doubled to 61% of the workforce.

The survey also reveals that families are using their broadband connection for general browsing, streaming video content, shopping online and to connect with family members and work colleagues through video-calling apps. In particular, more people are shopping online (+15%) and video calling (+8%) than in the previous survey in April.

In terms of Broadband reliability, 77% of people believed their broadband service met the needs of their household. In general, fewer survey respondents in rural areas reported their broadband as adequate to meet their needs.  Half of all respondents said they would be willing to spend more on broadband to get a better service, highlighting the increased reliance on home broadband during the Covid-19 restrictions.

While the vast majority of people are satisfied that their telecommunications services can meet their needs during the Covid-19 restrictions, some people perceive a deterioration in services. This is more true of home broadband and likely reflects greater reliance on this service, leading to for example increased number of users in peoples homes, and more generally increased volumes of traffic on networks.

ComReg Commissioner Robert Mourik said: “Due to the effects of Covid-19 restrictions over recent months, Ireland has been forced to rely more heavily on its electronic communications networks. ComReg’s survey reveals that most people seem satisfied with their telecommunications services and that Ireland’s telecommunications networks are coping with the additional demands on their respective communications systems. It is crucial that our communications networks support the needs of families, businesses and vital services. The telecoms industry, in conjunction with ComReg, has been working to ensure networks can meet the extra demands and keep people and businesses connected during this challenging time.”

The full survey is available here.

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