Internet users in Ireland are starting to enjoy increasingly faster speeds thanks to the roll-out of fibre optic and cable broadband across the country.

While cable or fibre optic broadband isn’t available to all homes in Ireland just yet, networks are being expanded and updated all the time to bring high speed broadband to as many homes across the country as possible.

Cable and fibre optic are the latest innovations in broadband, replacing the telephone lines and ADSL connections that the majority of homes use. Cable broadband removes the need for a landline phone connection, as it transmits the broadband signal through underground cables.

This makes for a far more reliable connection which delivers much faster broadband, reaching download speeds of up to 1000Mb in some cases. The speed of a household’s broadband connection will depend on a number of factors, including the location, the networks available in the area, and the type of cable broadband on offer.

Benefits of cable broadband

The advantages of cable broadband are obvious, with download speeds that can be as much as ten times faster than ADSL connections, giving you lightning-fast browsing. Connections are also more reliable as hi-tech fibre optic cables are used to transmit the broadband signal.

Not only that, but some cable broadband providers in Ireland offer broadband bundles with phone and TV options, saving you money and making life simpler.

Types of cable broadband

While all cable broadband will offer better speeds than a traditional ADSL connection, the type of cable broadband available in your area can have a big impact on the speeds on offer to your home.

There are four main types of cable or fibre optic broadband, which can vary your internet speed from as little as 30Mbps to as much as 200Mbps. So, what types of cable broadband are available.

FTTH

This stands for ‘Fibre To The Home’ and is the fastest type of cable broadband available – but it is also the most uncommon. This type of broadband has fibre optic cables that run from the network all the way to just outside your home, allowing for maximum speed.

FTTB

This stands for ‘Fibre To The Building/Basement’ and is found in apartment blocks. Like FTTH, it is fairly uncommon but doesn’t offer quite the same speeds. This is because the fibre optic cables run to the bottom of a building where the internet connection is transferred to slower copper cables for the remainder of the journey.

FTTC

This stands for ‘Fibre To The Cabinet’ and is the most common cable broadband connection across Ireland. In this instance the fibre optic cables run to a cabinet in the street, which can be up to 300 metres away from your home.

FTTN

This stands for ‘Fibre To The Node’ and is similar to FTTC in that the fibre optic cables runs to a street cabinet. The difference is that the cabinet can be much further away – up to 1km in some cases – so the connection will be slower.

What 100Mbps gets you

With download speeds of 100Mbps now becoming available to more and more people across Ireland, it’s important to know what these kinds of speeds can offer you:

  • HD video streaming without buffering
  • Albums downloaded in seconds
  • Films downloaded in minutes
  • Large-scale multiplayer gaming options
  • Games downloaded in minutes

Cable broadband speeds and providers

The speeds available with cable broadband will depend on the connections outlined above, but it will also depend on the service providers in your area. All the main internet providers in Ireland now offer cable broadband packages, with some offering FTTH connections. So, what cable broadband options are available?

Virgin Media

Virgin Media has been offering cable broadband for longer than any other provider in Ireland, and therefore has some of the best speeds and widest availability. The provider has an extensive FTTH broadband network, allowing it to 360Mb as a standard broadband speed with all packages.

eir

Ireland's fastest broadband provider, eir’s eir Fibre network uses FTTH connections to deliver broadband packages of up to 1000Mb.

Vodafone

A relative newcomer to Ireland’s cable broadband market, Vodafone offers FTTC broadband packages at speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Magnet

Along with Virgin Media , Magnet is one of the few broadband providers to offer FTTH cable broadband packages, though this is fairly limited at the moment. Magnet’s FTTH connection offers speeds of up to 100Mbps, while its FTTC packages – which are far more widely available – also feature speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Digiweb

Digiweb offers a limited number of packages featuring FTTC, but has competitive download speeds of up to 100Mb.

Compare all the latest fibre-optic broadband deals.

Find out more about broadband only packages here: broadband only.