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Ireland is aiming to bring its broadband coverage up to speed - its government plans to make the country one of the fastest in Europe by the year 2012.

A "Next Generation" broadband strategy published for minister for communications Eamon Ryan sets out a goal to have "ubiquitous access to broadband by 2009," reports the Irish Times.

According to the publication: "By 2012 speeds equivalent to or higher than that in competitor EU regions will be available over a variety of platforms."

The report concedes there are some major obstacles to realising an ambitious target, with 40 per cent of Ireland's population living in rural areas and less than 10 per cent residing in apartment blocks.

Ireland's broadband coverage is currently behind the OECD average. Prices for the service are higher than in neighbouring European countries, while available speeds are not as fast.

Use our broadband speed test to find out the speed of your connection and compare potentially faster packages.

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