It had come to our attention that Broadband or lack of Broadband services is a major issue across County Wexford, Chamber Operations Manager Emma Dunphy said. We distributed a survey to Businesses and people across County Wexford to gather the relevant information in order for us to build this issue into our lobbying schedule and push for improved Broadband services across County Wexford.
We found that the average household size who participated in the survey was 3 -6 people at 79%. We questioned if people felt that the area that they were in had access to a good quality broadband service. 59% of people said no and 41% said yes. From our survey results,the areas that people live in who completed our survey ranged from across County Wexford, providing us with a broad view on the broadband services and quality available throughout County Wexford. While 89% of people surveyed had access to broadband in their home, when asked if people were able to avail of the best broadband service in their area 47% said No and 53% said yes. This indicates that while many people have been able to access the best broadband service available to them, the broadband services provided to people across County Wexford are still inadequate and fall below expectations of what it should be.
Further proof that broadband services across County Wexford are insufficient for people’s needs is that when questioned ‘How good is your broadband for your needs?’ only 13% surveyed answered excellent. Meanwhile, 35% answered that their broadband service was average, 25% below average and 16% extremely poor. This highlighted the issue that even with access to broadband, majority of people do not receive a service that they are satisfied with.
As observed in our survey results, when questioned ‘Do you rely on internet access to work?’ 91% answered yes and 9% answered no. Remote working has highlighted the need for better quality broadband across County Wexford. With the Government’s Remote Strategy plan underway for Ireland, it is vital that broadband services are vastly improved, or it will result in a failed attempt to provide everyone with the same opportunities to work remotely. Following on from this we asked, ‘Has your broadband connection had a negative impact on your Work/School experience?’ with 69% respondents answering yes and 31% answering no. These results highlight that while broadband may be available, it has failed to meet the basic needs of those using it and is shown to be unreliable.
For our final section of our survey, we provided a comment box for any additional comments about broadband experiences. From our analysis of these comments, 87.70% had a negative experience with broadband stating issues such as disruption to connection, unable to avail of fibre broadband in the area they live or do business in, limited services available, relying on phone hotspots and more.
We reached out to School Principals across County Wexford to obtain their views and experiences with broadband issues and remote teaching as education is key component. From the responses that we received, it is clear to see that key issues such as, staff and students living in remote areas had slow and unreliable internet speeds making remote teaching and learning difficult.
In response to our findings we are holding a briefing National Broadband Ireland to discuss the ‘National Broadband Update for County Wexford’ on the 17th of May at 11am. Register Here.