Impacts of COVID-19 on home broadband usage

ComReg (the Irish Commission for Communications Regulation) has published the results of a survey on the impact of COVID-19-19 on home broadband use in Ireland. The ComReg survey – which was conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes – shows that 61% of broadband users have seen an increase in the usage of their home broadband service since COVID-19 restrictions were introduced.

The survey shows that families are using their broadband connection for general browsing, to watch TV content online, social media and to connect with family members and work colleagues through video-calling apps. The survey also revealed, before the beginning of March, one third of workers worked from home to some extent. However, as the COVID-19 restrictions began to impact workplaces, that figure has grown to two-thirds of the workforce.

In terms of broadband reliability, three in four of those surveyed said that their home broadband is adequate for working from home. The survey also shows that four in five users 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.  One in four respondents said they would be willing to spend more on broadband to get a better service, with all broadband users valuing being able to access and use broadband.

Commissioner Robert Mourik said: “Due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions, as a society and economy, Ireland has been forced to rely more heavily on its electronic communications networks. ComReg’s survey has shown that most people seem satisfied with their broadband service and that Ireland’s electronic communications networks and service are coping with the additional demands on their respective systems. Telecoms companies, in conjunction with ComReg, have been working to ensure their networks remain resilient as pressure on networks has increased due to Covid-19. It is imperative, now more than ever, that our communications networks support the needs of families, businesses and essential services.”

The full survey is available at https://www.comreg.ie/publication/market-research-impact-of-covid-19-on-home-broadband

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