This is a question I get asked all the time, so here is a description of the mail types available in Ireland.
- Fiber Broadband – This is the fastest type of broadband available. It is the same technology that is used by the Internet Backbone and uses Fiber Optic Cables, so is generally only available in cities and larger towns that have their own Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). Fiber Broadband is the fastest available and is generally only used by businesses or high powered users.
- Cable Broadband – In areas where Cable TV is available the same cables can also be used to deliver broadband. Typically Cable Broadband provides higher speeds (8-10Mbits)
- DSL or ADSL Broadband – Digital Subscriber Line Broadband is the most common type of broadband and is delivered over the main telephone network. To receive DSL Broadband you need to be within approximately 3-4KM of a broadband enabled exchange. The speed of DSL Broadband can vary greatly depending on how close to the exchange you are and what technology your exchange uses. Download speeds range from 1Mbit to 24Mbits.
- Fixed Wireless Broadband – This type of broadband does not use telephone lines to deliver broadband. The Fixed Wireless Broadband Provider will have a network of transmitters covering a set area and to connect to the network you have to have an antenna on your building, that is within range and can see one of the transmitters. Fixed Wireless Broadband tends to be available in rural areas that are not covered by DSL Broadband and usually can provide similar speeds to DSL. Alpha Broadband is a Fixed Wireless Provider.
- Mobile Broadband – The other type of broadband available to those who cannot get broadband over the fixed telephone lines is Mobile Broadband (3G or 2.5G). Mobile broadband is delivered over the same network as mobile phones and like mobile phones speeds can vary greatly depending on how close you are to the transmitter and how busy the network is.
This is only a general overview of broadband. If you have more detailed questions Ask us a question here.