Broadband

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 Federal Communications Commission (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. 

You can learn more about different types of broadband connection types here.

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.

Virgin Media has also announced that it’s upgrading its broadband network to full fibre, starting in early 2022. This means speeds of up to 10Gbps will be possible within the next three years, which is 10 times faster than what’s currently available. 

How can I check my broadband speed?

You can test the speed of your broadband in just a few seconds on Broadbandspeedtest.ie. This can check the speed of your current connection and help you decide whether it’s time to upgrade to a better deal.

If you’re not happy with the speed you’re getting at the price you’re paying, you can compare broadband providers and switch to a better deal on bonkers.ie today.

Start comparing broadband deals

Our easy-to-use broadband comparison service lets you quickly compare broadband speeds, prices and offers from all of Ireland’s main providers. You can search for broadband-only deals or bundles that include phone and TV too. 

Simply input your eircode or full address and we’ll show you the best deals on offer in your area.

Before making the switch, make sure you check out our other broadband guides which will help you make an informed decision:

You can stay up to date with all of the latest broadband news and saving tips with our blogs and guides.

Get in touch with us

Do you have any questions about broadband speed or switching broadband provider? We’d be happy to help! 

You can get in touch with us over on our social media channels. We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.