May 16th, 2017
Broadband in Ireland
The number of Irish households with broadband access is climbing significantly. Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that 87% of households had internet access last year. That’s up 2% from the previous year and 9% in the past five years, so it is clear that broadband providers are on the right track.
CSO figures from its Information Society survey show that Irish internet users are extremely active, particularly when it comes to the younger generations. Some 82% of those that have internet access used the internet in the three months prior to taking part in the 2016 study – increasing to 96% for those aged between 16 and 29.
When it comes to devices, mobiles or smartphones were used by 83% of individuals to access the internet last year, while laptops or netbooks were used by 66%. Tablets were used by 37% and desktop computers were used by 25%.
Through the National Broadband Plan, the Government aims to ensure every premises in Ireland can access the internet. That means even the most rural parts of the country will be able to benefit from high-speed unlimited broadband.
As the numbers increase and demand for fixed-line phone and broadband services grows, it can be helpful to understand the broadband landscape in Ireland and what some of the terms mean. Here, you will find everything you need to know about broadband in Ireland to ensure you understand exactly what you’re getting.
What is fibre broadband?
The fastest broadband speeds in Ireland are achieved through fibre connections. Fibre optic cabling is laid by Ireland’s telecoms wholesale providers. There are two types of fibre access in Ireland: Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC).
FTTC provides fibre to a local exchange, or cabinet. If the consumer is within a 1.5-2km radius of the cabinet and fibre has been installed, surrounding premises can request broadband access from their chosen phone and broadband provider. If you are unsure as to whether or not you are connected to your nearest cabinet, your chosen phone and broadband company will be able to find this out for you.
FTTH, meanwhile, provides fibre cabling directly to the household – allowing home owners to access virtually unlimited broadband with speeds of up to 1Gbps.
How can I get the fastest broadband speeds?
People are becoming increasingly reliant on the internet for their entertainment. Streaming channels require fast, reliable and unlimited broadband and as a result, broadband providers must ensure they are able to give their customers the fastest broadband in Ireland. Those connected to FTTC broadband can expect to get speeds reaching 70Mbps or 100Mbps, depending on their connection. FTTH, however, allows consumers and businesses to access speeds of 1,000Mbps, or 1Gbps, offering complete flexibility for downloading and consuming content.
Pure Telecom offers Lightning Fibre to home and business owners in enabled areas across the country. The service is up to 80 times faster than regular broadband speeds and can reach speeds of up to 1,000Mbps.
What is unlimited broadband?
Some broadband plans put a limit on how much data you can download in a month – that includes everything from loading a web page and sending an email, to downloading a movie and streaming a TV show. Unlimited broadband, however, allows users to download as much internet content as they like, if it is in accordance with fair usage policies.
What is the National Broadband Plan?
Not all premises in Ireland have access to fibre broadband, leaving many places in rural Ireland without internet. The Government’s National Broadband Plan aims to change that by contracting one or two wholesale providers in Ireland to deliver high-speed broadband to the areas that won’t be reached by current broadband rollout schemes. The National Broadband Plan is expected to transform the lives of 1.8 million people in Ireland, covering 750,000 postal addresses. The plan will allow phone and broadband providers, like Pure Telecom, to bring high-speed, competitively priced unlimited broadband to anywhere in Ireland.
As the National Broadband Plan approaches, a number of Ireland’s wholesale providers are increasing their rollout of fibre broadband to rural Ireland.
Check out this map to see if your premises will be covered by the National Broadband Plan, or if it is being included in Ireland’s commercial operators’ rollout plans.
How do I get cheap broadband in Ireland?
Before you purchase broadband, make sure it is available in your area and check what speeds you can get by calling your telecoms provider – you don’t want to pay more than you need to.
The cost of getting broadband in your home or business can vary, depending on what provider you use, as well as any deals or phone and broadband bundles you have signed up to.
If you aren’t satisfied with your current provider’s price plan, contact them about packages and bundles that they offer. You may find you can make significant savings simply by switching the deal you are on. Phone and broadband bundles are particularly attractive to those with a landline and internet connection, as they can save you money not only on your broadband bill, but also your home phone.
If you are thinking about changing your phone and broadband service providers, firstly check your contract to see how long it is for and if there is a fee for breaking the contract. Tell your service provider that you are planning to switch and tell them why – you may find they offer you a much better package and rate. Once you know where you stand, take a look at some switching websites, which allow you to switch provider and sign up with your new provider at a discounted rate. They will also be able to tell you which provider offers the fastest download speeds.