What is cable broadband and how does it work?
Cable broadband is another name for fibre broadband - with cable broadband, broadband is delivered to your home using fibre-optic cables.
Why choose cable broadband?
Also known as fibre broadband, cable broadband is the fastest type of connection available in Ireland, with speeds up to 1,000Mbps available in some areas. Advantages of cable broadband include:
- It is the best type of broadband for streaming content, like Netflix, NOW TV, or Spotify.
- You’ll get great reception for video or WiFi calls.
- You can download movies in minutes.
- It’s great for gamers, as lag shouldn’t be an issue.
- It’s ideal for large households, where multiple devices are connected to the internet.
- Working from home, and downloading large files, will be much easier.
- You don’t need to have a phone line in order to get cable broadband.
Types of cable broadband?
- Fibre-to the-Home (FTTH)/ Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband is the fastest type of fibre connection. This type of connection delivers fibre directly into your home, and speeds of up to 1,000Mbps are now available in Ireland through FTTH/FTTP.
- Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) is more common throughout Ireland. With this type of broadband, the fibre connection is delivered to your nearest cabinet or exchange, and the connection to your home is brought from there by older copper cables. This type of broadband can still offer speeds up to 360Mbps - through Virgin Media - but the actual speed you get will depend on your distance from the exchange.
Are there disadvantages of cable broadband?
The main disadvantage of cable broadband is that, in certain rural areas throughout the country, it still may not be available.
In addition, because it’s the fastest type of broadband, it can sometimes be more expensive than other types of connections.
Who provides cable broadband?
At present, cable broadband is available from many providers, such as:
The likes of SIRO, eir, enet and Virgin Media are continually working to roll out superfast speeds across Ireland, which means it’s getting easier and cheaper than ever to access high-speed internet.
What is the cheapest cable broadband deal?
How do I compare cable broadband deals?
When you’re comparing broadband deals, often price will be the most important factor, followed by speed. You should also consider the contract length, and whether or not you want to bundle the broadband with other services, like home phone or TV.
- If you want to get a TV and broadband package, there are 4 main providers in the Irish market. The Mix 240 plan from Virgin Media is the cheapest package on the market at the moment.
- Meanwhile, if you just want to bundle broadband and phone, Sky offers the cheapest plan.
- You can also bundle all three in a broadband, TV and phone package. The cheapest triple-play bundle on the market is the Mix 240 plan from Virgin Media, which costs €49 for the first 12 months, and €89 thereafter.
No cable broadband in my area - what are the alternatives?
If cable or fibre broadband is not currently available in your area, there are some good alternatives out there:
- ADSL broadband provides a reliable connection, with speeds up to 24Mb, via your phone line.
- Satellite broadband, which is set up in a household through the installation of a satellite dish; and
- Mobile Broadband, which provides internet access through a mobile phone signal via mobile dongles and 4G SIMs.