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Dublin: 9°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Your slow internet is likely stressing you out

And you can only imagine how those still using dial up feel right about now.

Image: Shutterstock/iko

WHILE MANY WAIT for broadband to be rolled out to rural areas, it turns out that slows speeds confirm what many of us already knew: waiting can be incredibly stressful.

An experiment from Ericsson found that delays in loading web pages and videos can lead to increased heart rates and stress levels. On average, it found that single delays resulted in a 38% increase in heart rate.

It did this by recording the brain, pulse and heart activities while subjects completed various tasks on their phone, but made them go through tests with long delays, medium delays and no delays.

When the 30 people were going through a two-second buffering period, their stress levels doubled. When it rose to six seconds, their stress levels rose before falling. The fall was down to increased signs of resignation with eye movements suggesting they had given up on completing the task.

The report likened the stress felt by these delays to be similar to watching a horror movie.

Broadband woes

While it’s a small sample size, it does highlight just how jarring it is to have speeds that don’t load up quickly, especially when dealing with high-data tasks like watch Netflix or uploading images or files for work or personal reasons.

While some reports suggest it’s a country with fast internet speeds, the rollout of broadband across Ireland has been slow and well documented in recent years, with an imbalance between rural and urban areas.

img2.thejournal Source: Statista

The average download speeds in Europe capital cities places Dublin in 15th with an average download speed of 39.43 Mbps. That’s compared to other cities like Bucharest which takes the top spot thanks to an impressive download speed of 80.14 Mbps.

Ireland’s broadband problems have been well documented in recent years with different plans and strategies announced to solve the problem.  The latest one was announced back in July, which aims to have 85% of premises connected to a network by 2018 and have all connected by 2020.

Earlier this month, eir announced that 100,000 homes and businesses across 200 communities will be able to access the fastest broadband speeds in Ireland over the next twelve months. Although many other areas will be waiting a long time before broadband is properly rolled out with some expecting it to be another six years before it reaches their area.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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