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. They 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 in Ireland, and is best for streaming TV, online gaming, and watching HD films.
How fast is fibre broadband?
The fastest fibre broadband plans in Ireland can deliver speeds of up to 1,000Mbps with a full fibre connection, but most providers offer part fibre plans with speeds of up to 100Mbps.
Virgin Media uses part fibre, part coaxial cable to offer download speeds of up to 1,000Mbps. This is known as cable broadband.
The actual speed you get will depend on your distance from the exchange.
How does fibre broadband work?
Fibre broadband uses fibre-optic cables - long, thin strands of glass about the width of a human hair - that transmit flashes of light, interpreted as data.
The cables run underground, to deliver super-fast broadband to businesses and homes throughout Ireland.
What are the different types of fibre broadband?
Fibre broadband is delivered one of two ways:
Fibre-to the-Home (FTTH)
Often referred to as full fibre, it delivers fibre cables direct to the home, and provides the fastest internet connection. With full fibre, you could achieve speeds of 1,000Mbps (1GB).
Known as part fibre, it delivers fibre cables to your nearest cabinet or exchange, and older copper cables connect to your home. You could get speeds up 100Mb, depending on where you live.
Broadband providers in Ireland
You can get fibre broadband in Ireland from 6 providers:
- Pure Telecom
- Virgin Media
Can you get fibre broadband in your area?
The main disadvantage of fibre broadband is that it’s not yet available everywhere, so accessing it will depend on where you live.
Our Irish broadband checker can show you if fibre broadband is available where you live, and 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 see if fibre broadband is coming to you soon.
Our guide SIRO broadband explained explains more about the SIRO broadband rollout.
What’s so good about fibre broadband?
If you’re looking for the fastest broadband in Ireland, fibre is best. You’ll find it especially useful if you:
What are the alternatives to fibre broadband?
If cable or fibre broadband aren’t available in your area, there are some good alternatives:
- ADSL broadband is a widely available, reliable connection; with speeds up to 24Mbps
- Satellite broadband ideal for rural areas without a phone line
- Mobile & wireless broadband internet access via a mobile phone signal using a dongle or SIM card.
How to get fibre broadband
Once there’s fibre broadband in your area, it’s simple to make the switch.
When you’ve chosen a new 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 service interruptions
- cancel all Direct Debits to your old provider once your account is closed
The broadband plans and types of broadband connection you can get depend on where you live, so try our free broadband checker to compare broadband deals in your area.
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