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Guide

Your complete guide to broadband in Ireland

Whether you want super fast internet speeds, cheaper prices or a terrific new TV bundle - our complete guide to broadband has everything you need, including the best broadband deals from Ireland’s top providers.

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Our expert says

Broadband speeds in Ireland are constantly improving, with more full fibre connections than ever before.

For gamers and streamers, fibre broadband is a fast, flexible option with speeds of up to 2Gbps. This is fast enough for everyone in a large household to download a HD movie at the same time, with no lagging - but don’t fork out for a top-speed plan if you don’t need one.

If you’re in a more rural location, 4G or 5G mobile broadband could be an option, as well as a satellite or fixed wireless connection.

Providers always keep the best discounts for new customers, so it pays to switch when your contract is up. The cheapest monthly rate may not always be the best value, so weigh up contract length and annual costs, now that more providers are offering 24 month contracts or ‘no thereafter’ price deals.

Many providers are now introducing annual, inflation-based price rises. They must inform you what the increase will be, and once they do, you can check you’re out of contract to avoid hefty, early exit fees, and try to find a better deal.

If you watch TV, you can save by bundling your TV and internet together, and many packages now include streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Remember, when you sign up, you have a 14 day cooling-off period to cancel without penalty if you need to.

Eoin Clarke

Eoin Clarke

Latest Update

Broadband roundup

Virgin Media boosts reach through National Broadband Ireland deal

17/06/2024: Virgin Media said more than 1.4m premises across Ireland can now access its broadband services. Virgin Media has agreed to a network deal with National Broadband Ireland (NBI), in a bid to grow its market share across the country.

The partnership will allow Virgin’s broadband and digital TV services to become available on over 250,000 premises connected to NBI’s network.

NBI is the company responsible for delivering Ireland’s National Broadband Plan.

National Broadband Plan connects 75,000 to high speed fibre

01/05/2024: National Broadband Ireland (NBI) said today it has now connected over 75,000 homes, farms and businesses under the National Broadband Plan (NBP). The NBP is developing and operating the new high-speed fibre broadband network for rural Ireland.

NBI guarantees standard speeds of 500Mb with additional products available to deliver speeds of up to 2GB. It plans to connect over 90,000 farms and businesses in rural Ireland to high-speed broadband, with 36,972 of these now able to do so. Over 230,000 premises are ready to connect to high-speed fibre across all 26 Irish counties.

NBI brings high-speed broadband to the Aran Islands

08/04/2024: Inis Mór, Inis Oirr and Inis Meáin are the latest rural areas to get high speed broadband.

Though installation hasn’t started yet, National Broadband Ireland (NBI) has started engineering surveys to confirm network requirements - bringing one of Ireland’s most isolated spots one stop closer to full-fibre internet.

Virgin Media to increase prices by 4.6% from May

21/02/2024: Virgin Media will hike prices by 4.6% from 11 May, 2024.

The new prices will affect mainly broadband subscribers and some TV customers; with costs increasing by €4 per month.

The company said the price adjustment will support ongoing investments in broadband and TV services.

Customers of Virgin Media have the right to cancel their service without penalty before the increases come in on May 11.

eir announces 7.6% annual price rise from 1 April

21/02/2024: eir has confirmed prices will increase across all products from 1 April 2024. The price hike of 7.6% is based on the CPI published in January plus 3%.

The annual price increase is based on standard monthly prices (before discounts), and the actual increase will depend on the services you have. For example, a broadband and phone plan with a standard monthly price of €65.99 will increase by €5.00 per month. Mobile users will on average see an increase of around €2.00 per month.

Customers who joined eir before 1 March 2024 and existing customers will receive an annual increase on their monthly price plan (excluding any discounts) from April 2024.

Sky Ireland announces April price hikes

12/02/2024: Sky Ireland is the first to announce an April price increase for some broadband and TV subscribers. Vodafone, Three and eir all introduced annual price rises based on inflation last year - with one provider increasing fees by 11%.

From 1 April many Sky customers will see an average jump of 4.1% which means an increase of around €52 a year. However, fibre to the home, Sky Glass and Sky Stream customers won’t get hit with hikes this year, and Sky Sports or Sky Cinema prices remain unchanged.

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New Vodafone Deals

Get Vodafone broadband from just €30 per month. T&C’s apply. Limited time offer.

How to get better broadband

With so many things to think about, finding the right broadband can be difficult. Here’s a bitesize guide to checking speed, finding availability in your area, choosing a plan and how to switch providers.

Check your broadband speed

Test your broadband speed using our broadband speed test.

Download speed measures things like the streaming rate of music and videos, and upload speed measures how fast you can upload data, like sending emails.

Run the test a few times, at different points in the day and exit all programs, cancel downloads and turn off devices and appliances to get a clear test of your speed.

If you regularly stream movies you’ll need a minimum download speed of 50Mbps.

Find the best broadband in your area

To find the best broadband deal, you can check the broadband availability in your area with our broadband eircode checker.

Fibre is available in most towns and cities across Ireland, but if you are still unconnected and want to know when fibre broadband might be coming to your area, you can use the online map on gov.ie, openeir or Siro.

Choose the right broadband package

Consider what kind of plan you need, as well as what’s available in your area.

Think about how you and your household use the internet and whether you need a TV package. Bundling your broadband and TV can be cheaper, but only sign up for a TV package if you really need it.

If you decide to bundle broadband and TV, be realistic about how many channels you actually watch, and pick providers that stream your favourite shows. Many providers air the same standard channels but offer premium add-ons like Netflix or Sky Cinema and Sky Sports for an additional monthly cost.

Switch broadband providers

Before switching providers, you should check there are no cancellation fees with your current contract.

To switch and save:

  1. Compare and choose the best broadband deal on Switcher.ie
  2. Read the Plan Info to check all the details
  3. Complete the online form
  4. Receive a call from your new provider; give some more details
  5. Give your current provider cancellation notice
  6. Agree a date for switching with your new provider
  7. Cancel any direct debits with your old provider

Broadband Deals

Fibre Broadband

eir, Virgin Media and Vodafone offer full fibre broadband which gives speeds of up to 2Gbps.

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Cheapest Broadband

Weigh up low prices with all features of the broadband plan. See if it matches your expectations for speed, contract type and service too.

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Mobile Broadband

eir, Imagine, Three and Vodafone offer mobile broadband. 5G broadband can reach speeds of 1Gbps.

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TV and Broadband

If you’re already paying separately for TV, consider a TV and internet bundle. Some plans now include add ons like Amazon Prime.

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Switcher Broadband Awards Logo 2024

Switcher.ie has recognised and rewarded telecom industry excellence in Ireland for over a decade. Our annual awards highlight standout plans, value for money and customer service in broadband and mobiles to help you make the right choices.

We survey over a thousand customers to find our Public Choice winners because we believe that you know best. Our Telecom experts at Switcher.ie choose the rest.

Look out for the Awards badge or check out our Switcher.ie Awards page to discover this year’s champions.

View 2024 Winners