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Online sales affected by poor broadband quality in Ireland

The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association is calling on the government to do more.

Image: Associated Press Photo

ONLINE SALES OPPORTUNITIES are being affected because of inadequate broadband quality in Ireland according to new research by the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME).

ISME says that “serious inadequacies” still remains for companies using information and communications technology (ICT) with broadband quality seen as an impediment to to companies developing and increasing online sales.

In a survey of 1,034 companies this month, ISME found that 97 per cent of companies use the internet for business purposes with 84 per cent having their own website.

However, 47 per cent of those indicated quality of service as their greatest concern.

The survey also found that:

  • One third of companies use the internet for on-line selling, a small increase from the 28 per cent in 2010.
  • The main purpose for using the internet is banking (87 per cent), communications (77 per cent), research (70 per cent) and sourcing suppliers (63 per cent).
  • The average cost of set-up of a web site was €4,568 with an average maintenance of €1080.
  • 46 per cent of companies reported that the internet has reduced their business costs.
  • 43 per cent of companies (up from 26 per cent in 2010) have a social networking site presence, with the majority (85 per cent) on Facebook and 61 per cent using the business professionals social network site LinkedIn.
  • 30 per cent recoded an increase in business due to using social networking.
  • Companies who do not have a website indicated a lack of in-house expertise (40 per cent) and costs (16 per cent), as their main concerns.

Responding to the findings ISME’s chief executive Mark Fielding said there was a danger the so-called smart economy “is passing us by and SMEs in Ireland are missing out, as consumers, both domestic and foreign, purchased on-line from outside the State.

“The increase in the number of 40-foot containers arriving into the country, full of ‘on-line purchases’, is evidence not to be ignored.”

He called on the government to do more to tackle problems associated with broadband speeds  in Ireland.

Read: Plan for full broadband coverage in Ireland by end of 2012 >

Read: Ireland makes the top ten for global broadband speeds >

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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