Fixed line broadband can be connected to the majority of households in Ireland via either fibre-optic cables or by telephone. But, there are some areas where laying cables is not economically viable. In these situations satellite broadband is a great alternative for households to access the internet.

As opposed to a cable service, ADSL (asymmetrical digital subscriber line), or a dial-up connection, a satellite connection relies on links to its dish network subscriber service. Broadband speeds also compare favourably with the speeds of other types of broadband Internet connections.

Having broadband means being able to make full use of the Internet, as opposed to using a slower dial-up service. But rural areas aren't always able to have access to Fibre optic broadband or ADSL broadband services.

Eligibility for these types of services is dependent on being close enough to a phone centre, which normally means within 18,000 feet. There are, however, some telecommunications companies that are more flexible and can set up a connection from further away. A company offering a cable TV service may offer an Internet service, but it won't necessarily cover every area.

Satellite broadband features

Satellite broadband is a type of Internet connection which is beneficial to those who can't get a connection through other types of broadband. It's set up at a person's home through the installation of a satellite dish. The Internet feed is then transmitted to the dish by a satellite. Broadband speeds can be achieved, downstream, of 20 megabytes (Mbps) per second through a satellite Internet connection. Upstream speeds can reach 6 Mbps per second. As a dial-up connection reaches a maximum 53 kilobits a second, satellite connections have speeds of 180 times this.

There are, as with all technology, a few disadvantages with a satellite Internet connection. It usually costs more than ADSL or cable to setup the service in your home. Also sometimes weather can have an adverse impact on the quality of the signal. Signal delay, or high latency, can also be an issue.

Satellite broadband providers in Ireland

The three main providers for satellite broadband in ireland are:

  • Europasat Providing an excellent range of satellite broadband packages to suit all needs, Europasat can guarantee high speed, competitive satellite broadband deals. With Europasat users can get up to 22Mb download and 6Mb upload speeds. Packages are available with both limited and unlimited download options. Contract length is for a 24 month period.
  • Digiweb offer some great value packages. The company uses Tooway satellite technology to connect your computer to the internet via a high-speed connection with the new KA-Sat Tooway satellite. Wherever you're located the service offers you up to a massive 100Mb download and 20Mb upload. The duration for a satellite broadband contact with Digiweb is for a 18 month period.
  • QSat QSat’s main focus is on delivering low cost reliable satellite broadband services throughout Ireland. Contracts with QSat are for a 12 month period.

The benefits of satellite broadband

  • Fast and reliable: The service is over 180 times faster than dial-up, and many times faster than a lot of fixed line broadband (ADSL) and mobile (3G) connections.
  • No telephone line required: with satellite broadband there is no need to depend on having a landline phone to get access to the internet.
  • 100% coverage in Ireland: No coverage limitations when it comes to satellite broadband which means you can access the internet from any location in Ireland.

For more information read our satellite broadband in Ireland guide.