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Rural Broadband Plans in Ireland

Living rurally doesn’t mean being cut off from the world. Find out what your options are when looking for rural broadband.

While living in the country has plenty of benefits, there are times when you can feel a bit isolated in terms of access to services that city-dwelling Irish enjoy.

Broadband is one service that has frustrated people in rural Ireland for years. Either broadband plans are too expensive and the connection leaves much to be desired, or simply there is no broadband available at all. Thankfully, this has been acknowledged and something is now being done about it. The government’s National Broadband Plan is helping to roll out fast broadband to businesses, farms and homes across Ireland.

What broadband options are available near me?

If you are not sure what broadband options you can get at your house, you can find out through one of two ways:

    1. Visit the website of one of the larger telecommunication providers that offer regional broadband such as eir, Vodafone or Pure Telecom. Enter your address and you will be presented with the available connections and plans. If no options are available, try another rural provider.
    2. Check out the government’s High Speed Broadband Map. Type in your address or use the drop pin to select your location. The map, which is updated on a quarterly basis, shows where commercial operators are delivering or have indicated plans to deliver high-speed broadband services.

Depending on the connection type, there may be one or multiple providers that can offer you a broadband service in your regional area. Unless you are limited to one provider that services your area, it pays to shop around and compare the costs of different plans. Some companies don’t display their rural plan prices on their websites, so you may need to call and speak to someone to get a quote.

What if there are no broadband services available?

If no broadband services are available at your house, it is likely due to being in a very remote area. In this case, you may need to consider satellite broadband to be able to get online. While typical satellite broadband speeds are generally slower than fibre, part-fibre and mobile broadband, a satellite plan could be a workable option as this type of connection doen’t depend on cables or telephone lines. Satellite broadband is typically set up in a home through the installation of a satellite dish.

bigblu and Rural WiFi are two of the main providers of satellite broadband in rural Ireland.

How do I pick the right broadband plan for me?

Living in a rural or remote area usually means that you don’t have as many options as those living in the cities. However, in most cases, there is a solution.

Once you understand what broadband services are available to you in your region, you can compare plans and choose one based on the amount of data you need and the price you are willing to pay each month. If rural broadband is available through a company that you get other services such as power, landline, mobile through, it could be worth sticking with them as you may get discounts or loyalty rewards.

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