How to get broadband in rural Ireland
If you live in a rural part of Ireland getting a fast, reliable broadband connection can be tricky. We explain what your broadband options are and how to find the best rural WiFi deals.
What is rural broadband?
Rural broadband is broadband that’s available in rural parts of the country.
Rural Broadband is also the name of a state-led initiative under the National Broadband Plan that provides high-speed internet and fibre broadband to the underserved rural areas of Ireland.
It can be difficult to get a reliable, fast internet service if you live in a remote area of Ireland compared with a large urban area.
What broadband can you get in rural Ireland?
Here are the main types of broadband you can choose from if you live in a remote part of the country:
- ADSL Broadband uses your landline to provide an internet connection of up to 24Mb. Your distance from the telephone exchange and the quality of your connection could impact your speed.
- Fibre Broadband uses fibre optic cables. Although harder to get in rural areas it’s worth checking SIRO or fibre rollout in your area because the infrastructure is growing all the time.
- Satellite broadband is set up in a household by installing a satellite dish. It can provide an internet connection to any home, even very remote properties.
- Mobile Broadband is provided through a mobile phone signal. Most networks offer mobile broadband via modems, mobile dongles and 4G/5G SIMs.
Who provides broadband in rural Ireland?
There are many broadband providers serving towns and cities across Ireland. There are also smaller providers that focus on connecting rural areas. Some of Ireland’s rural broadband providers include:
The choice of broadband providers available to you will depend on where you live. Use our eircode checker to discover what’s on offer near you.
Broadband deals available where you live
Your broadband options will depend on your location; for example, fibre broadband is readily available in most major cities across Ireland but not all rural areas.
Our broadband comparison is a good place to start searching for deals in your area.
When is faster broadband being rolled out to rural areas?
As part of the National Broadband Plan which aims to deliver ‘quality, affordable high-speed broadband’ to all parts of Ireland, National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is rolling out high-speed, full fibre broadband to homes and businesses in rural Ireland.
With minimum speeds of 500Mb guaranteed to all in the ‘Intervention Area’, the project means those living in remote areas will get access to reliable, superfast broadband from a choice of providers.
Although there’s been some delays to the roll-out, NBI says 30,000 homes have been connected so far, with a target of 185,000 by January 2024.
If you want to see when faster broadband is on its way to you, check out the NBI eircode map and sign up for updates in your area.
What is SIRO?
SIRO is a joint venture between ESB and Vodafone that’s working to deliver a 100% fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) broadband network, using the existing ESB network. SIRO is offered on an open-access basis to all telecoms retailers in Ireland and can deliver speeds up to 2Gb.
It’s being rolled out to regional Ireland first, here are the counties in the planned roll out. You can find out more about how SIRO works and when you’ll get it near you in our SIRO in Ireland guide.
How to improve slow broadband
If you live in a rural area and are having issues with slow internet, consider switching your broadband provider. As well as the potential to improve the speed of your broadband, you may also benefit from an introductory discount and save money too.
If you’ve recently switched, or you can’t get a faster plan where you live, try our tips on improving slow broadband, which could make a big difference.
Best broadband and internet for rural areas
The best broadband package for you will depend on what features you’re looking for. If you want a reliable connection, with unlimited usage, an ADSL plan is a good place to start.
Satellite broadband is ideal for people in remote areas because it can provide a connection to any home. However, there can be download limits, so if you’re a heavy user, or you have a busy household, this may not be the best solution.
Likewise, mobile broadband could be a good option, but you’ll need to make sure you have a strong mobile phone signal where you live, to ensure you’ll have a reliable internet connection.