How fast is high-speed broadband?

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Image Simon Moynihan
Staff Writer

High-speed broadband generally refers to a connection that reaches a download speed of 100Mb. Around one third of Irish households now have broadband connections with speeds of 100Mb or more, and the fastest broadband speed currently available in the country is 1,000Mb.

Is there an official definition of 'high-speed'?

There is no firm definition for “high-speed broadband” in Ireland, but in 2015, the FCC (the American communications regulator) said that:

"A high-speed broadband connection should have a minimum download speed of 25Mb and a minimum upload speed of 3Mb".

However in today's world of streaming, gaming and skyping, where more and more work and business is being done online, a speed of at least 100Mb is needed by many.  

According to our own regulator ComReg, as of Q4 2018, 31.9% of broadband subscriptions in Ireland had a speed of 100Mb or more, with the number set to keep growing in the coming years.

In recent times the term superfast broadband has been coined. This refers to 'pure' fibre or fibre-to-the-home broadband that allows speeds of up to 1Gb or 1,000Mb. 

Are broadband speeds going to increase?

Yes! Eir has expanded its broadband infrastructure massively in recent years and its 100Mb fibre broadband is available in many towns and cities around the country. 

In addition, ESB and Vodafone are currently working on a joint venture to provide high-speed fibre-to-the-home connections to up to 500,000 premises in Ireland. This venture, which is called SIRO, runs fibre optic cables along the network of ESB electricity poles nationwide then directly into people's homes, promises speeds of 1,000Mb. That's 10 times faster than the current high-speed broadband benchmark!

And finally Virgin Media (formerly UPC), which has long been able to provide fibre broadband to Irish households, recently increased its top broadband speed from 360Mb to 500Mb in most major urban areas of the country.

How can I check my broadband speed? is the best place to test the speed of your broadband. If you're not happy with the speed you're getting, you can easily switch providers on our Compare Broadband page right now. Just type in your address or eircode and we'll take it from there.