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Home / Advice & Information / Broadband & Home Phone / Upgrading Broadband & Home Phone

Upgrading Broadband & Home Phone

This page contains:

  • Upgrading Ireland’s networks 

  • Expanding Ireland’s infrastructure and coverage 

  • What does internet over fibre broadband mean for my broadband and home phone service? 

  • Landline phone calls delivered over a digital technology  

  • Can I keep my home phone service over my fibre broadband internet? 

  • Will I need new equipment? 

  • What other devices do I need to consider? 

  • What happens in a power cut? 

In the past, home phone and internet services were only received by being connected to a socket in the wall which connects to either standard copper wires between telephone poles or a coaxial/TV cable in a city or town. Home phone and internet services may also have been received from a wireless internet signal from a mast outside.  

Home phone and broadband services are changing, as steps are taken to enhance and upgrade the technologies on the networks over time. These enhancements are not unique to Ireland and are happening all around the world.  

Upgrading Ireland’s networks 

The copper networks are old and are becoming harder and more expensive to maintain. Replacing these networks with fibre will ensure that we continue to have reliable broadband and home phone services available.  

Expanding Ireland’s infrastructure and coverage 

One of the main broadband initiatives that will affect the future of broadband in Ireland is the continued rollout of full-fibre services to increasing parts of the country. National Broadband Ireland’s (NBI) ongoing project aims to bring high-speed broadband to rural Ireland. 

SIRO is, likewise, expanding its broadband network by using current ESB infrastructure to offer full-fibre connections to more premises around the country. 

These projects, along with open eir’s ongoing expansion of its full-fibre infrastructure, means that more parts of the country will have access to high-speed internet connections. In time older infrastructure, such as copper connections, will become obsolete. 

 Virgin Media is currently working on an upgrade of its network to full fibre up to 2025.

What does internet over fibre broadband mean for my broadband and home phone service? 

Fibre broadband is a fast and reliable technology for the delivery of internet services. Fibre broadband enables the seamless use of multiple devices connected to the internet at the same time – smartphones, TV services, computers, smart speakers as well as your home phone service. 

Landline phone calls will be delivered over a digital technology, called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Also referred to as ‘digital phone’ or  ‘digital voice’.  

Find out more information on fibre and other broadband types.

Landline phone calls delivered over a digital technology  

The PTSN (Public Switch Telephone Network) gives us what we commonly refer to as a landline. This is the fixed home phone connection that many of us have traditionally had at home or work.  

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology that allows us to make calls over an Internet connection. This can be done with a computer, a smartphone, or any other mobile device such as a tablet. 

As fibre broadband becomes an ever more available technology, and fixed landlines decrease, VoIP services will be in more demand in the coming years. The potential benefits to consumers are lower costs (especially for international calls), higher call quality, no need for a separate dedicated phone line, and little to no additional maintenance. 

Can I keep my home phone service over my fibre broadband internet? 

You can still keep your home phone service over your fibre broadband internet. A home phone service over fibre broadband (Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)), can still use a standard telephone handset, but it will be plugged into the internet modem instead of into a socket in the wall. 

Will I need new equipment? 

Your provider should arrange to supply the equipment needed to keep your landline phone working – for example, a new modem, new telephone handset or if you need a new broadband service installed, your provider may be able to advise you. 

What other devices do I need to consider? 

Certain devices such as care alarms, personal alarms, security alarms and fax machines may be connected to your landline. If you have a device like this, it might need to be replaced or reconfigured to continue working once you move to a VoIP service. 

What happens in a power cut? 

If there is a power cut to the home and the internet stops working, the phone service and devices dependant on the broadband connection will not work either. 

Your mobile provider should clearly disclose any limitations and impacts of the service including in the event of a power failure within the terms and conditions of your contract. 

One option available to you to mitigate against a risk of temporarily losing a telephone or internet access during a power cut, is the use of a mobile phone. It is important to ensure the mobile phone is kept charged. 

In addition, if the network itself has not lost power, you can use a battery backup device to power your modem to be able to continue to use your home landline telephone service to make and receive calls, on a temporary basis, during a power outage.  

There are currently battery backup devices available on the market that you can purchase or your service provider can advise you. 

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