Fibre-optic broadband explained

Fibre Broadband offers much higher connection speeds than the likes of DSL, mobile, or satellite broadband - with Fibre-to-the-Home even allowing speeds of up to 1,000Mbps.

What is fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is sometimes called cable broadband and is a type of broadband connection that uses a network of fibre-optic cables.

Fibre is the fastest type of broadband you can get in Ireland.

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How does fibre-optic broadband work?

Fibre-optic broadband uses glass or plastic cables, which are run underground, to deliver broadband to homes and business.

What are the different types of fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is delivered to people’s homes in one of two ways:

  1. Fibre-to the-Home (FTTH)/Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) which delivers fibre the whole way to the home and offers speeds of up to 1,000Mbps.
  2. Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) known as part fibre, which delivers the fibre connection to your nearest cabinet or exchange, and the connection to your home is brought from there by older copper cables.

How fast is fibre broadband?

The fastest fibre plans in Ireland can deliver speeds of up to 1,000Mbps via a FTTH connection.

FTTC can offer speeds up to 1000Mbps through Virgin Media but most providers offer fibre broadband plans with speeds of up to 100Mbps.

The actual speed you get will depend on your distance from the exchange.

Who offers fibre broadband in Ireland?

You can get fibre broadband from the following providers:

What is the best fibre broadband deal?

The fastest widely-available fibre broadband package plan is the 1GB Broadband and World Unlimited Home Phone plan from Virgin Media, which costs €65 for the first 6 months, and €90 thereafter.

If you’re looking for the cheapest fibre broadband package, you could try the Simply Broadband & Talk plan from Vodafone.

Is fibre broadband right for you?

If you’re looking for the fastest broadband in Ireland, fibre will work best for you. It’s particularly good if you:

  • live in a large household, where many devices are connected to the internet
  • stream a lot of content, like Netflix, NOW TV, or Spotify
  • download large files, including movies, quickly
  • play online games and want to reduce game lag
  • work from home

Can I get fibre broadband in my area?

Fibre broadband isn’t available everywhere, and whether or not you can get it will depend on where you live. Our fibre broadband comparison can show you the options available in your area.

Alternatives to fibre broadband

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 24Mbps, 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.

How can I get fibre broadband?

Unfortunately, the main disadvantage of fibre broadband is that it’s not yet available everywhere. Our Irish broadband comparisons can clearly show you whether or not fibre broadband is available where you live.

If you find a fibre broadband package you want, switching is very straightforward - simply submit an application form for your new broadband product, and shortly you’ll hear from your new provider, who’ll confirm your application and may ask you for some additional details to help to set up your account with them.

You are then responsible for cancelling your broadband account with your current provider, and you’ll need to make sure you give them the relevant notice - as stated in your contract - in order to ensure you can switch without any penalties.

Then you can arrange a date with them to close off your account and agree on an installation date with your new provider, to ensure you avoid any interruption in broadband service.

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