How fibre optic connections work

Fibre optic (fibre optic) broadband differs from ADSL broadband in one key area. Whereas ADSL relies on running over copper telephone wires, fibre optic works via running over cables that are in the ground.

Either glass or plastic is used as a material for fibre optic cables, which helps data to be moved along their length very quickly. A disadvantage of ADSL broadband, by comparison, is that speed can quickly decrease when great distances are involved. How far in terms of distance the homes are from the exchange impacts on speed, and causes variation.

Not all that much speed is lost over great distances with a fibre optic connection. In terms of superfast broadband, fibre optic is a better option than ADSL.

Fibre broadband packages

The main fibre broadband providers in Ireland

The fastest broadband speed on offer with a Virgin Media fibre optic broadband deal is up to 360Mb for customers where the company has enhanced its service.

The company's 360Mb service is widely available and if you're in a large town or city, there's a very, very good chance you'll be able to get it.

Compare Virgin Media's 360Mbps broadband: Virgin Media 360Mb broadband

eir also offers a fibre broadband service, which as they supply through the phone lines. eir is currently updating their connections by installing fibre-to-the-cabinet cabling infrastructure. This means that many customers who are receiving up to 24Mbps ADSL broadband via their phone lines, should soon be able to access up to 100Mbps from the same lines.

Compare eir Superfast Broadband: eir Fibre Solo

Sky also has fibre in the form of Sky Fibre Unlimited. With unlimited downloads and no caps or hidden charges, this is an ideal solution for busy homes. Also there is no fair usage policy or traffic management, allowing you to download as much as you want with no restrictions.

Compare Sky Fibre Unlimited: Sky Fibre Unlimited

With Vodafone's Simply Broadband, you get unlimited superfast fibre broadband with speeds of up to 100Mb, and you don't have to pay for a landline you don't need.

Compare Vodafone Simply Broadband: Vodafone Simply Broadband

With Pure Telecom, customers can enjoy superfast speeds of up to 100Mb with a connection that is always on. With no download limits to worry about Purely Broadband is ideal for those who love to game, surf and stream at the same time.

Compare Pure Telecom Purely Broadband: Pure Telecom Purely Broadband

Availability of fibre broadband connections

If you're not in a fibre enabled area, you may still be able to get a high speed broadband connection via other broadband providers in Ireland with regular ADSL broadband connections.

For more about ADSL broadband, and to make ADSL deal comparisons visit our dedicated ADSL broadband page

Other names for fibre optic broadband are:

  • Cable broadband
  • Fibre optic broadband

Learn more about fibre optic broadband in our dedicated fibre optic broadband guide