New research from independent price comparison and switching website, Switcher.ie has today revealed that over a third of Irish people are spending over 20 hours online per week. The research also found that a quarter of broadband users spend between 11-20 hours online in a typical week. On average, Irish adults spend 13 hours per week online with 35-44 year olds more likely to spend less than four hours online. The research also showed that 95% of homes across the country have broadband access. 73% have broadband as part of a bundled product, with just 23% claiming to have standalone broadband.
Switcher.ie has also revealed interesting insights into what people in Ireland are doing online on a monthly basis:
· 82% Emailing
· 81% General internet surfing
· 70% Social networking
· 69% Online banking/financial management
· 60% Online shopping
· 56% Watching films/video clips and television programmes
· 38% Listening to music online (e.g. Spotify)
· 31% Making phone calls over the internet
· 22% Downloading music (e.g. iTunes)
· 9% Gambling
The research found that for 70% of people, social media is one of the primary reasons for spending time online each month. Social networking was revealed as the most popular online activity for 16-24 year olds, with 87% of this cohort logging on to social networks in a typical month. This activity is less popular with those aged 55 and over, however 58% of people in this group are still using the internet each month for social networking. 56% of people watch films, TV programmes and other video content online, with 82% of 16-24 year olds stating they have used home internet in the last month for this activity. Making phone calls online has also been revealed as a popular activity, with almost a third (31%) of people making a phone call over the internet in the past month.
Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie says: “This research shows the huge impact that the internet is having on Irish life. Broadband is now a necessity – as important to our quality of life as gas or electricity. The only utility contract that is more prevalent than broadband in homes in Ireland is electricity. 100% of homes have electricity and 95% of homes have broadband. With the popularity of broadband it is important to make sure you are on the right package to meet your needs.
“The survey showed that 36% of people in Ireland are spending more than 20 hours online so we would call on consumers to check and be aware of data allowances on their broadband bills. Our usage patterns are changing with 82% of 16-24 year olds regularly watching TV and video content online. With this change one thing to be wary of is your data allowance. As usage increases it is going to become even more important that consumers fully understand broadband packages so that they are able to choose one that is cost-effective and right for their needs – at the moment this could save them hundreds of Euro a year.
“Our reliance looks set to increase dramatically over the coming years as younger generations come to the fore, putting the Government under even more pressure to deliver universal broadband access across the whole country.”