DURING A LAZY summer in Ireland, demand for broadband service has bumped up more than 30% over last summer's requests for broadband.  I put it down to people trusting that they can pay a line rental to one entity (Eircom) while paying another provider for high speed service. Also, the penny probably dropped in several customer segments. Small business owners have figured out they can dramatically cut costs with VoIP (requires broadband), summer holiday-makers need it (you need broadband to zoom around galleries of photos and to efficiently maneuver through online bookings), the viral effect of YouTube, Second Life and Bebo (give them a miss on a dial-up) boost broadband's appeal and an increase in podcasting has appeared in the Irish listening market.
The fact that Irish telecoms companies are reporting a surge in the sale of broadband internet services contradicts recent comments by Eircom executives and IBEC that Ireland's low broadband penetration stems partly from lack of demand. Irish Broadband, Imagine, Smart Telecom and BT Ireland have taken more than 15,000 orders between them during the month of July 2006. That equates to each of those companies getting more than 1000 orders each week from customers wanting broadband. Some are getting more than 3000 a week, depending on promotions. But not all applicants pass the broadband line test.
If this trend line holds, it means Gerry Fahy, chairman of IBEC's Telecommunications and Internet Federation, is wrong to say that low broadband penetration in Ireland is caused by low demand. In fact, it appears that low broadband penetration in Ireland is directly related to the slow and lumbering process of accessing Eircom's network. When IBEC systematically clouds the issue, that employers' body prostitutes its entire ethos.
 Conor Brophy -- "Summer broadband demand startles industry" in Tribune Business, August 27, 2006.
 Mark Paul -- "Cutting the phone bill is easy PC" in The Sunday Times "Money" section, 27 August 2006, with 17 column-inches given over to Mulley and Raftery.
Bonus Link: Get Broadband but as Damien says, it exists to pimp paid placements.