A survey published by the Irish telecoms regulator, the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), has found that a sizeable portion of people in the Republic no longer use a traditional fixed telephone, preferring instead to use a cellphone as their primary form of telecoms access. Whilst mobile ownership has topped the 96% mark (according to respondents in the watchdog’s survey), by contrast three out of ten people no longer have a fixed telephone. ComReg’s findings compare sharply with a similar survey carried out in Q1 2000 which found that 82% had a fixed telephony, compared with just 37% for mobile. Despite the widespread proliferation of wireless communications, the regulator’s survey also highlighted that for older people in the 65-74 age group, and for those working in the home, mobile ownership is lower. Cellphone penetration for older people is 82%, while for home workers it is 89%.
ComReg also reported that computer ownership is narrowing the gap on mobile usage, with eight out of ten people now having a PC or laptop in their home. The watchdog’s public affairs manager, Tom Butler, said the agency’s findings put Ireland firmly in the forefront of mobile ownership – on the international stage – while increased PC ownership shows that ‘Ireland’s adoption of broadband is gaining momentum rapidly’. The Irish Examiner notes that ComReg’s findings were based on a survey of 1,007 people, interviewed between March and June this year.