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Take-up of broadband services has soared in Ireland in the last year, new data reveals.

According to figures from Forfas, take up increased by 90 per cent - bringing the total number of subscribers to 700,000.

However, in spite of the growing demand for broadband noted in the country, average speeds on offer remain well below those of other EU countries, Forfas' study showed.

Currently the top speed on offer is 6Mbps, suggesting there is considerable room for improvement, Martin Cronin, chief executive of the advisory board said.

Moreover, services are up to five times as expensive as those of other countries, he added.

Mr Cronin commented: "While Ireland recorded the highest number of new broadband connections per capita in the OECD in the past year, we continue to lag other countries in terms of overall subscriber numbers, the range of broadband services available and on investment in next generation broadband networks."

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