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Compare Broadband in Ireland
How to compare Fibre internet plans to find the one for you.
When shopping around for internet, home phone, TV and mobile deals it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Broadband providers can leave consumers confused. People end up buying packages unsuited to them, add-ons they don’t need, and paying hefty fees which they weren’t expecting. This page is here to help with all of that.
Read on to get the information you need to help you make an informed decision on a fibre broadband plan.
What to look for when comparing broadband plans in Ireland
Whether you’re looking for Fibre, Cable or a Mobile plan it pays to compare so you can get the best deal for you at a great price. These are some of the questions to ask yourself when you’re shopping around for broadband in Ireland:
- How long is the contract? Most fibre broadband plans are offered on an 18- or 24-month contract. Choosing a longer contract can make your plan cheaper, but restricts your flexibility if you plan to move house or decide you’re not happy with your current provider. Plans that run for shorter periods or on a month-to-month basis also exist, though typically you’ll pay higher installation costs, and will often have to buy your modem/router/connection device outright.
- How much data do I get? The data allowance for broadband plans is typically measured in gigabytes (GB) per month. The higher the amount, the more you’ll pay each month. Some providers offer “unlimited” connections, though these will invariably include an “acceptable usage policy” that allows customers to be cut off if their usage is deemed excessive.
- Are there unmetered options for services like Netflix? Some plans don’t count viewing on Netflix, Stan, Presto or other streaming entertainment providers. That can allow you to opt for a lower (and cheaper) download allowance. Obviously this isn’t a concern if you have an “unlimited” plan.
- What’s my connection speed? For most technologies, you won’t have any effective control over the speed – it will be the “best available” and is likely to vary based on your location and the condition of cabling and wiring. On fibre and some pay TV cable connections, you can opt to pay more money for higher download and upload speeds. Think about the minimum download speed you will require based on your needs.
- What’s the monthly cost and minimum total cost? While you’re likely to use the monthly cost as your basis for comparison, also look at the minimum total cost. If you sign up for a longer-term contract, you’ll often get a discount on installation fees and hardware, but you’ll be stuck with paying out the whole contract if you decide it’s not suitable.
- Can I get a discount by bundling my broadband? Providers will often offer a discount if you bundle your broadband connection with other services such as pay TV, mobile phone or landlines. While this can save you money, make sure that all the bundled services are suitable for your needs and that you’re actually saving money. Bundled deals will also usually require you to sign up for a 24-month contract, so if you want to leave it could hit you in the pocket.
Why do I need to compare broadband providers?
When you hear people talking about broadband, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on. “Just turn it off and on again…!” As long as it’s working who cares, right? With so many broadband providers, and even more jargon to get your head around, this attitude is hardly a surprise.
When shopping around for internet, home phone, TV and mobile deals it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. Providers can leave consumers confused. People end up buying packages unsuited to them, add-ons they don’t need or know about, and paying hefty fees which they weren’t expecting.
How to switch broadband providers
Once you’re ready to compare broadband, shop around to find deal that works for you and your household. If you’re signing up as a new customer, you’ll have to submit personal details such as your name, address and email address. To complete your switch, you may need to find your existing Universal Account Number (UAN). This eight-digit number, which is typically included on home broadband and phone bills, indicates the line that brings broadband and phone signals to a home. After your order is processed by your new provider, they’ll contact you to confirm any other actions you need to take to get your new service up and running.
What costs should I be aware of when switching broadband?
Make sure you read the terms and conditions on your existing deal before you switch broadband providers. Some companies will charge an exit fee, and set a minimum term during which this applies if you switch broadband mid-contract. Also, be aware of any costs you need to pay before you sign up to your new package. Typical examples include installation costs or a charge for the delivery of your router.
How to choose the best Internet plan
What makes an Internet plan the “best” changes from person to person, so we’ve compiled a list of things to look out for when you’re trying to choose the best Internet plan for you.
- Price. Not all plans are created equal, and some providers will simply charge more for a comparable plan. Most plans offer unlimited data these days, but you could think about potentially saving on a limited data plan if you’re not a heavy Internet user.
- Speed. Every provider has a typical evening speed for their plans. This tells you what speed you can expect when everyone is online in the evening, and is what you should be comparing between similar fibre plans.
- Contract type. Month-to-month plans offer flexibility and let you switch providers on a whim, but some longer contract plans let you waive set-up fees or include a modem as part of the plan.
- Extras. Do you need a home phone line, or are you interested in entertainment bundles? Some providers will include extras that you can sign up for on their Internet plans.
- Provider reviews. While reading reviews is important, be aware that some providers compensate people for writing positive reviews about them to improve their star ratings. Also check whether negative reviews are related to issues with the provider or simply written by customers who are angry for other reasons.
Frequently asked questions
What connection will I get at my property?
The type of connection you have is typically fixed – in short, you’re stuck with whatever connection your property has. Unfortunately, not every home or business across Ireland will be able to access fibre broadband. If a fast Internet plan is your top priority, take the type of connection into consideration when moving.
What will I need to have in place to get fibre broadband at home?
As a minimum, you’ll need to ensure you have the required fibre infrastructure in your area, and the Termination Point (TP) is activated in your premises. Once you’ve activated your broadband, the way your home is set up – including the distance between the router and your devices – are just a couple of the factors which determine how seamlessly you’ll be able to use the Internet in your home.
Can I take advantage of broadband bundles if I’m an existing customer?
It can be easier to manage your broadband and home entertainment as part of one deal. Start by checking if there are any fees if you break your existing contract. You should be able to check this in your online broadband account. It’s often found on a provider’s website under ‘Manage my plan’ or ‘Manage my account’. How close to your contract’s expiry date you need to be for a new deal varies between providers.
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