Fibre broadband explained

Fibre-optic broadband offers much faster connection speeds than ADSL, mobile, or satellite broadband. Here’s all you need to know about fibre-optic broadband in Ireland.

What is fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is a type of high-speed broadband connection that uses a network of fibre-optic cables.

Fibre-optic cables are better at transferring data than standard copper cables so the internet connection is faster and more reliable.

Fibre is the fastest type of broadband you can get in Ireland and is best for streaming TV, online gaming and watching HD films.

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How does fibre broadband work?

Fibre broadband uses fibre-optic cables as thin as a strand of hair to send light flashes at the speed of light which are interpreted as data.

The cables run underground, to deliver super-fast broadband to business and homes throughout Ireland.

What are the different types of fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is delivered to homes and premises 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.

Virgin Media can offer download speeds up to 1000Mbps via FTTC, using a coaxial cable, 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 in Ireland from 6 providers:

Is fibre broadband right for you?

If you’re looking for the fastest broadband in Ireland, fibre will work best for you. You’ll find it especially useful 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 Prime Video.
  • download large files, including movies, quickly
  • play online games and want to reduce game lag
  • work from home

Can you get fibre broadband in your area?

The main disadvantage of fibre broadband is that it’s not yet available everywhere, so whether or not you can get it will depend on where you live.

However, our Irish broadband comparison tool can show you whether or not fibre broadband is available where you live. Our fibre broadband comparison can show you the fibre packages available in your area.

You can also check the fibre rollout map from eir and the Siro rollout map to check if fibre broadband is coming to you soon.

To find out more about the SIRO broadband rollout and whether its best for you, visit our guide, Should you choose SIRO broadband?

Is broadband is available where I live?

How to get fibre broadband

If you find a fibre broadband plan in your area, it is simple to make the switch.

Once you’ve chosen a plan and submitted your details using the online application, your new provider will be in touch to confirm the move.

You will need to do a couple of things to ensure the changeover runs smoothly:

  • provide some additional details to your new provider to set up your account
  • give your current broadband provider the relevant notice to cancel your contract
  • agree an installation date with your new provider to avoid any interruption in service
  • cancel all Direct Debits to your old provider, once your account is closed

Alternatives to fibre broadband

If cable or fibre broadband is not currently available in your area, there are some good alternatives:

  • 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.

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