Internet in the Republic of Ireland

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In 2018, 89% of households have access to the Internet in Ireland at home, with 82% of individuals reporting that they had used the internet in the three months prior to interview[1]. The internet is an important contributor to Ireland's economy and education.


  • Internet users: 3.6 million, 77% of the population, 70th in the world (2011);[2] 3.0 million, 67th in the world (2009)[3]
  • Dial-up subscriptions: 34,109 or 2.1% of total Internet subscriptions (2011)[4]
  • Fixed broadband subscriptions: 1.045 million or 23% of the population (2011)[4][5]
  • Mobile broadband subscriptions: 583,755 or 13% of the population (2011);[4] 370,424 or 8.4% (2009)[6]
  • Internet hosts: 1.4 million, 40th in the world (2012)[3]
  • Internet censorship: Little or none (2011)[7]
  • Top-level domain name: .ie[3]

Eir, the largest telephone company in Ireland, began rolling out broadband Internet access in 2002. Broadband Internet access is available via DSL, cable, wireless, and satellite. By the end of 2011 Eircom announced that 75% of its working lines would be connected to Next Generation Broadband (NGB) enabled exchanges.[4] A typical monthly broadband Internet subscription cost $26.02 in 2011, 14% less than the average of $30.16 for the 34 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries surveyed.[8][needs update]

In August 2012 Pat Rabbitte, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, outlined a national broadband plan with goals of:[9]

  • 70-100 Mbit/s broadband service available to at least 50 per cent of the population,
  • at least 40 Mbit/s available to at least a further 20 per cent, and
  • a minimum of 30 Mbit/s available to everyone, no matter how rural or remote.

Founded in 1996, the Internet Neutral Exchange (INEX) is an industry-owned association that provides IP peering and traffic exchange for its members in Ireland. The INEX switching centres are located in four secure data centres in Dublin: TeleCity Group in Kilcarbery Park, Dublin 22 & TeleCity Group in Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24 and Interxion DUB1, and Interxion DUB2 in Park West. The switches are connected by dedicated resilient fibre links.[10] In March 2013 it listed 57 full and 18 associate members.[11]

Established in 1998,[12] the Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland (ISPAI) listed 24 Internet access and hosting providers as members in 2012.[13]


Internet censorship in Ireland is a controversial issue with the introduction of a graduated response policy in 2008 followed by an effort to block certain file sharing sites starting in February 2009.[14] Grassroots campaigns including "Blackout Ireland" and "Boycott Eircom" have been established to protest the censorship.[15]

Beyond these issues there are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitored e-mail or Internet chat rooms. Individuals and groups could engage in the expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail. Irish law provides for freedom of speech including for members of the press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. An independent press, an effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political system act jointly to ensure freedom of speech and of the press.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Information Society Statistics - Households 2018 - CSO - Central Statistics Office". Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  2. ^ Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2011, International Telecommunication Union, accessed on 19 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Communications :: Ireland", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, retrieved 28 February 2013
  4. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2010 / 2011", Commission for Communications Regulation, 20 April 2012
  5. ^ Note: Because an Internet subscription may be shared by many people, the penetration rate will not reflect the actual level of access to broadband Internet of the population.
  6. ^ Annual Report 09, Commission for Communications Regulation (Comreg), 12 July 2010
  7. ^ a b "Ireland: Freedom of Speech and Press and Internet Freedom", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State
  8. ^ "USD PPP for Eircom Next Generation Broadband Basic (512kbit/s up, 8.2 Mbit/s down) as reported in question 4e, OECD Fixed Broadband basket low 2", OECD Broadband statistics, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, September 2011, updated 18 July 2012
  9. ^ "Rabbitte unveils broadband plan", Mary Minihan and Deaglán de Bréadún, Irish Times, 30 August 2012
  10. ^ "History of INEX", Internet Neutral Exchange, retrieved 3 March 2013
  11. ^ "INEX Public Member List" Archived 2016-04-23 at the Wayback Machine, Internet Neutral Exchange, retrieved 3 March 2013
  12. ^ "About ISPAI" Archived 2013-01-16 at the Wayback Machine, Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland, retrieved 3 March 2013
  13. ^ "Register of Members (Current)" Archived 2012-08-24 at the Wayback Machine, Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland, 1 August 2012, retrieved 3 March 2013
  14. ^ Jacqui Cheng (2009-02-23). "Record industry talks Irish ISP into blocking P2P sites". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  15. ^ "Net campaign urges action over move to block websites". The Irish Times. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-16.

External links[edit]