The Quickstart Guide To Switching Broadband Providers In Ireland

The Quickstart Guide To Switching Broadband Providers In Ireland

Grab a pen and paper or print out this page. If you're switching your broadband provider, these are literally and in the correct order, the 5 simple steps you need to take to make your switch as pain-free as possible.

1. Decide clearly why you want to switch broadband services

This step is crucial. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need more speed?
  • If your streaming services or online games are lagging, you need more speed. If you’re using ADSL, think about upgrading to ADSL2+. If you’re on ADSL2+ think about upgrading to cable broadband (part fibre) or future-proof your speed with full FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) fibre optic broadband.

  • Do I need to save money?
  • Do you use your landline? Do you even watch TV? Are you overpaying for a service you can get cheaper elsewhere? If you are paying for a broadband, landline, and TV bundle but you only use broadband, you could be saving money. If you have all three separately, you can also save by having them combined into one service. It pays to shop around.

  • Do I need better-quality broadband?
  • Are you experiencing latency/lag? Does your service slow down at peak times? Are you losing connectivity frequently? Will you be working from home and need a more reliable service? All of these problems can be potentially resolved by upgrading from ADSL to part fibre cable broadband or from part fibre to full fibre broadband.

  • Am I never at home?
  • If you travel a lot for work or are on the road more than you are at home, you may not need broadband at home. Think about a SIM-only deal. Maybe your employer will even pay for it!

  • How do I find the best comparison broadband comparison site in Ireland?
  • That’s easy. You’re on it right now :-)

2. Find out what’s available

Once you've decided what you need, you need to see if it's available in your area. ADSL/ADSL2+, SDSL, cable broadband, fixed wireless broadband, and fibre optic broadband are the main options in Ireland.

ADSL/ADSL2+ are generally available wherever there is a phone line network. SIM only works wherever you can get a mobile signal. It's mostly if you want FTTH/FTTP fibre optic you will need to check local availability and you can do that on the SIRO broadband website.

SIRO broadband Ireland is a wholesale provider and doesn't sell directly to the public but they can keep you informed of when the fibre optic network will reach your area. To find out and compare all of the best ADSL, part fibre, and full fibre optic deals available you can check this page right here.

3. Find out if you’re under contract with your current provider

Don’t miss this step! Get in contact with your current provider and find out exactly when your contract is up. If you switch before then you will have to buy out the rest of the contract. This comes in the form of a nasty final telephone bill that charges you for all of the remaining time on the contract you signed with them.

It only takes a phone call or an email and can save you a tonne of money, heartache, and lasting resentment. It's also possible that you are already out of contract and can switch immediately. If that's the case, you need to…

4. Choose a new provider

Now comes the fun part. You know what you want, and you know you are free to go and get it. All you need is a great comparison website and by chance, you happen to be on the very best right now.

Based on what you decided you need you can choose any of these links to find and compare all the best deals in that category:

Keep in mind the main criteria you will need to compare providers against each other to get the best value for money.

  • Price
  • Figure out what your monthly budget is for broadband and find the provider who comes closest to or underneath this.

  • Bandwidth/speed
  • Crosscheck price with download speeds. If it stays within your budget, try to get the highest download speed you can for the price you're willing to pay. It might be worth paying a little more to guarantee a higher speed.

  • Limited vs unlimited data
  • Make sure you know what you are getting. If you are a heavy data user you may opt to pay more for 'true' unlimited rather than 'fair usage' unlimited. If you pass what is often an unspecified barrier on data usage, you may be billed extra at a significantly higher rate.

    For most household users unlimited downloads with a fair usage policy will be more than enough. If you are keen to save money then a limited package will be better, but make sure you can easily stay within the agreed contractual limit.

  • Contention ratio
  • If you've had problems with this in the past, make sure to pin down your new provider on what this will be with your new contract. Contention ratio refers to the maximum number of users who will share the same broadband connection.

    The advertised upload and download speeds may refer to the entire channel and not the individual users. A contention ratio of 50:1 means that up to 50 people could potentially use the same channel thus dividing the real bandwidth by 50 and causing significant lag at peak times.

    The closer your ratio is to 1:1 the better it is, but also the more expensive it’s likely to be.

  • Packages and bundles
  • Double-check the provider and package you've chosen for welcome deals, all-inclusive money-saving bundles, or other incentives to sign on the dotted line.

5. Prepare for the switch with a handy 7-point checklist

Here’s one we prepared earlier:

  1. Email
  2. Do you have an email address with your old provider? Back up everything there to a free cloud service or you will lose all that data.

  3. Your deal
  4. Have the deal you’re interested in right in front of you on your screen before you call.

  5. Contract review
  6. Read the contract through before you accept it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about contention ratio, the technology used (ADSL vs part fibre vs full fibre broadband), etc.

  7. Existing phone numbers
  8. Do you have a landline or mobile number you want to keep? Ask if you can take these with you. Ask what will happen to your voicemails.

  9. Cancel your old service
  10. Ask the new provider to cancel your current deal. Verify with your old provider that your service with them has been canceled.

  11. Plan for downtime
  12. Find out if there will be a break in continuity of service and plan ahead for the downtime.

  13. Install new equipment
  14. Make the appointment to have any new equipment installed.

Are you ready to start comparing?

Whether you're negotiating a better deal with your existing provider, switching to a new one, upgrading your service, or ordering broadband for the first time, we've got you covered. Check out all the best domestic deals here, or compare all of the best business broadband services here.


Should I try to get a better deal with my current provider?

Yes. Nothing is guaranteed, but they might offer you a better deal and save you the trouble of changing at all.

Is there a penalty for leaving my current provider?

There is a penalty if you are still under contract. Check with your current provider to make sure before you change or you will pay the balance of the remaining time on your contract.

Will changing cost money?

No. Unless you are breaking contract, then you have to pay the balance. Some providers may have a one-time installation and setup fee, so make sure to check this in advance.

Will there be a break in service?

Any new equipment will require setup from an engineer or by you. Once everything is installed you are ready to go. Make sure you know exactly when this will happen so that any downtime will have minimal impact.

Can I keep my old number?

Yes. Discuss this with your new service provider in advance.

Can I keep my old email address?

No. Back everything up to a free email address before the switch takes place.