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Home / Advice & Information / Broadband & Home Phone / Types of Broadband Technology

Types of Broadband Technology

This page contains:

  • What are the different types of broadband technology 

  • What is Fibre broadband? 

  • What is Part-Fibre broadband? 

  • What is Cable broadband? 

  • What is Copper broadband? 

  • What is Fixed Wireless broadband? 

  • What is Satellite broadband? 

  • What is Mobile broadband? 

  • What companies offer broadband? 

  • Broadband speeds explained 

  • What broadband is available in my area? 

Multiple types of technology provide broadband to homes and businesses in Ireland. The broadband connection you can get will depend on where you live, the available technology, and what providers are operating in your area. 

Here is some helpful information on broadband and the developments in broadband technology.  

What are the different types of broadband technology 

The main types of broadband connections available in Ireland are:  

  • Fibre  
  • Part-Fibre 
  • Cable 
  • Copper 
  • Fixed Wireless 
  • Satellite 
  • Mobile

What is Fibre broadband? 

Fibre broadband is the latest broadband technology that offers consumers the highest available speed and most reliable broadband. Fibre broadband is sometimes called Fibre To The Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Home (FTTH) or Full-Fibre. This is where all cables that bring internet to your home or premises are Fibre Optic. At the moment, a full-fibre connection can typically deliver speeds of up to 2 Gigabit per second (Gbps) which is 2,000 Megabit per second (Mbps). 

What is Part-Fibre broadband? 

Part-fibre or Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) broadband uses fibre cables up to the local street cabinet and then copper or cable from there to your home. Fibre to the Cabinet generally delivers speeds of up to 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) however these speeds depend on the distance between your premises and the street cabinet. 

What is Cable broadband? 

Cable Broadband is broadband provided over a cable TV network. Cable broadband can provide speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. These coaxial cables offer higher speeds than copper connections but do not offer the same performance as full-fibre broadband. Cable broadband networks can be part-fibre – meaning that they use fibre cables to your local street cabinet, then cable into your home. 

What is Copper broadband? 

Copper broadband refers to connections that use copper cables that connect from the telephone exchange all the way to your home. The copper line technology was originally designed to deliver telephone voice services at a fixed location. Copper-based networks were not designed to carry large amounts of data or internet traffic. Copper is slower than Fibre, Part-Fibre or Cable broadband (up to 30Mbps). We have more information about upgrading the copper network throughout Ireland.

What is Fixed Wireless broadband? 

Fixed Wireless or Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is a type of broadband that uses radio signals to connect a home or premises via a receiver to a local fixed base station, meaning there is no cable connection (other than potentially from an externally mounted antenna into the premises).  

What is Satellite broadband? 

Like satellite TV, satellite broadband sends a signal from a telecoms satellite to a satellite dish installed on your property. It then gets hooked up to a Wi-Fi router for broadband connectivity. This means that you do not have to rely on a cable connection to get broadband regardless of where you are located in the country. 

What is Mobile broadband? 

Unlike traditional broadband, mobile broadband provides an internet connection using a mobile phone or Wi-Fi router which contains a SIM card that connects to the same 5G or 4G signals as a normal mobile phone. This means that mobile broadband won’t normally be as fast or as reliable as fixed internet. However, the additional mobility and flexibility can appeal to many.  

As with fixed-line broadband, several different devices may connect to mobile broadband at once.  

Mobile coverage is an important consideration for anyone looking to purchase a mobile internet package. It is important to note the mobile coverage in your area, so you can compare the signal strength of the different providers for the different mobile network generations (i.e.  4G or 5G). Be aware though that building materials and home insulation may adversely affect indoor mobile coverage

Click here to check the mobile coverage in your area.

What companies offer broadband? 

Ireland has a wide variety of network operators and retail providers.  

Network Operators are those companies that build, manage, and operate the infrastructure that makes accessing broadband possible. Parts of the current infrastructure is expanding to bring more advanced technologies to greater areas of the country and offer improved broadband services. 

Retail Service Providers are the companies that you, as a consumer, buy your broadband service from. A network operator and retail service provider may be part of the same group of companies; however, they are usually separate companies.. We have a list of broadband providers.

Broadband speeds explained 

Something that is often quoted when purchasing broadband, or when it is advertised, is broadband speed. This is usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps). One gigabit per second (1Gbps) is the same as one thousand megabits per second (1000Mbps). The more megabits, the faster and better quality your broadband connection will be. 

These are the different speeds that you may see mentioned. 

Upload speed: 

This is how fast you can upload data to the internet. This would affect things like sending emails, uploading videos or pictures to social media, or video calling. 

Download speed: 

This is how fast you can receive data from the internet. The higher the speed the quicker web pages and images will download, and the higher quality video stream will be possible. 

What speed details are internet service providers required to include in my contract? 

Your provider is required to include the following in your contract; 

  • The minimum, normally available, maximum, and advertised download and upload speed of fixed networks. 
  • The estimated maximum and advertised download and upload speeds of mobile networks. 

Check your internet speed 

You can check your internet speed by using one of the online tools such as the Speedtest by Ookla. 

What broadband is available in my area? 

If you are unsure as to what types of broadband connections are available in your area and what speeds they are capable of our free Broadband Checker tool can help. All you need to do is simply input your address or Eircode. 

To find the best Broadband deal that suits your needs, then we have an independent price comparison tool.  


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