Satellite Broadband Ireland: Rural Internet Solutions

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Finding the best broadband is no easy task, but understanding your options is vitally important, particularly if you don’t have a fixed line. The satellite broadband Ireland offers could be just the solution for you. Find out the best satellite broadband prices, plans and providers in this dedicated guide.

What is Satellite Broadband?

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Establishing a reliable internet connection can be challenging, particularly if you live away from large cities, or don’t have a fixed line to your property. Satellite broadband aims to remedy these issues by providing a reliable internet connection to those who have traditionally been left wanting.

In order to get satellite broadband, you are required to have a satellite dish attached to your home. This picks up signals emitted from satellites in space and transfers these to a small household modem, which can emit wifi, or provide a fixed connection via an ethernet cable. This differs from traditional fixed broadband, which provides a connection through fixed cables, either in the form of ADSL or fibre connections.

Not having to rely on a fixed-line connection means that satellite broadband can be a great choice for those who live in a rural area, or where the fixed-line network is poor or non-existent.

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Pros and Cons: Satellite Broadband VS Fixed-Line

Deciding whether satellite broadband or a fixed-line broadband provider is right for your home really depends on what your household scenario is, and what you want. Satellite broadband was not designed to directly compete with fixed-line options but instead focus on a gap in the market that fixed options haven't yet reached, or are underdeveloped.

That being said, if you are in the lucky position to be able to choose between the two options, what are their advantages and disadvantages? Let’s take a look.

Satellite Broadband Ireland

  • A great choice for those who cannot get a fixed-line connection, or live in a rural area
  • Stronger connection than mobile broadband and dongles in rural areas
  • Long-life satellite dishes
  • Can be affected by weather, and difficult to adjust if the satellite dish moves
  • Slower speeds than fixed-line broadband, with speeds up to 100 Mbps
  • Requires a satellite dish installation

Fixed-line Broadband

  • Strong connection, with speeds up to 1 Gbps
  • Numerous provider and package options
  • Wide range of compatible routers
  • Underdeveloped in rural areas
  • Lengthy contracts
  • Confusing price plans

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Is Satellite Broadband better than Mobile BB and Dongles?

A fairer comparison than against fixed-line would be against its wireless counterparts; mobile broadband and dongles. Though these devices are wireless also, they do operate somewhat differently. Dongles and mobile broadband pick up wireless signals such as 3G, 4G, and 5G via a small pen drive-like device in the case of dongles, or a modem in the case of wireless broadband.

Let’s take a look at the core aspects of each type of connection

Satellite Broadband Ireland Comparison
Criteria Satellite Broadband Mobile Broadband Dongle Broadband
Speeds up to 100 Mbps 1 Gbps 1 Gbps
Average Contract Length 12/24 Months 3/6/9/12 Months 1-12 Months
Average Coverage Area 99% 90%+ 90%+
Average Cost €45 Per Month €32.50 Per Month €20 Per Month

Both dongles and mobile broadband device contain a SIM card and traditionally comes alongside set limit data plans through providers such as Three, Vodafone, and Eir. The SIM also enables you to bring your device with you and access broadband on the go, whereas the satellite broadband Ireland has is restricted to the immediate vicinity of the dish/associated router.

The rollout of the NBI (National Broadband Ireland/NBP) network means that signals in the rural setting are going to become a lot stronger and widespread, making mobile broadband and dongles significantly more reliable in the immediate future.

Satellite Broadband Ireland Providers

An important thing to note is that satellite broadband is quite a specific form of technology, and so when you set out to compare broadband providers, you are likely to have a much more limited range of options than traditional broadband. This is not to say you are without choice, however, as there are currently five satellite broadband providers in Ireland. These are:

Bigblu, however, currently does not list its offerings on its websites. In fact, Bigblu has recently been acquired by Eutelsat and is no longer taking on new customers. Existing customers need not worry, however, as current contracts will be honoured, and will not result in service service cancellation.

Best Satellite Broadband Packages

Let's take a look at what each provider offers in terms of package contents, and importantly, their price. Necessarily, availing of satellite broadband means that you will have to agree to a satellite dish installation. As this is a significant device, the cost carries over to the customer in the form of a one-off fee. The satellite will however then be yours after your contract completes, and by paying for it upfront, you avoid the cost carrying over to your monthly price.

Irish Satellite Broadband Plans

Irish Satellite currently offers the cheapest range of options for satellite broadband. The Konnect Lite package comes in at almost €10 cheaper than the cheapest equivalent package of their competitors, and even the middle Konnect Zen package comes in €3 cheaper than the basic package with competitors.

Irish Satellite Broadband Plans
Plan Name Price Per Month Average Speed Peak Data Allowance Night Time Data Allowance Additional Charges
Konnect Lite €37.90 37 Mbps 75 GB Unlimited Installation - €79
Activation - €49
Konnect Plus €47.90 75 Mbps 150 Gb Unlimited Installation - Free
Activation - €49

Konnect, Rural Wifi, and Digiweb Packages

For this section, we have grouped the plans for these three providers. The reason for this is that their packages are identical to each other, and all fall into the details in the table below

Konnect, Rural Wifi and Digiweb Plans
Plan Name Price Per Month Average Speed Peak Data Allowance Night Time Data Allowance Additional Charges
Konnect Starter €37.90 20 Mbps 50 GB Unlimited Installation - €59
Activation - €49
Konnect Lite €47.90 37 Mbps 75 Gb Unlimited Activation - €50
Installation - €149
Konnect Plus €67.90 75 Mbps 150 Gb Unlimited Activation - €50
Installation - €149

The only package variations between these plans are that Rural WiFi has also currently reduced their Plus package to €47.90 from €67.90 as a temporary offer, and also omits the “Konnect” from their plan names.

Why Are the Satellite Broadband Plans All Called Konnect?

Eutelsat is one of the largest satellite companies in the world, and in 2020 launched a new satellite called Konnect. This satellite has the dedicated purpose of expanding and strengthening broadband options for those who cannot rely on a fixed-line connection.

All of the above companies use the Konnect service, as at this moment it is the most reliable and modern facility available, hence the plan name, price, and content similarities. What will differ however is how your chosen company interacts with you, their customer service quality, and additional products or services.

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Is Satellite Broadband a Good Option for Businesses?

In short, it depends. While often those who choose satellite broadband have few or no other options, satellite broadband in itself provides relatively poor speeds in comparison to other forms of connection. This means that if you are looking to use satellite broadband in an office with multiple persons using online systems at once, you will likely experience a poor or slow service.

If, however, your business is not highly sensitive to connection speed fluctuations or has only one or two users undertaking non-data-intensive tasks, then satellite broadband can be sufficient. To find out about the available business packages, visit Irish Satellite and Digiwebs satellite broadband business page

Satellite Broadband Ireland Reviews

Due to the lack of package variation, as we have briefly mentioned above, service quality and reliability become important deciding factors. Reputable websites such as Trustpilot can be a great tool in ascertaining how customers perceive their company's service standards. We take a look at how the above companies have been rated in this shortlist,

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  1. Digiweb - 4.7 out of 5
  2. Rural WiFi - 4.1 out of 5
  3. Bigblu - 3.9 out of 5
  4. Konnect - 3.5 out of 5
  5. Irish Satellite Broadband - No Trustpilot presence

Considering that online review sites as a whole tend to be largely used as complaint platforms, these scores are all impressively positive. It is worth noting however that each company provides multiple services, but only has one review page each. This means that some of the reviews may reflect subjects other than satellite broadband. Still, though, it is good to know the overall public opinion and trust rating of a company before investing.

Further guidance on the telecommunication market can be found on the ComReg website.

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Satellite Broadband Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use satellite broadband Ireland services for mobile homes?

Yes. As long as the satellite dish can be safely attached to a stable surface, you should be able to receive satellite broadband services in mobile homes or caravans.

Do I need a phone line for satellite broadband?

No. Satellite broadband does not require a connection to a fixed line network.

Is broadband good for intensive online tasks, such as gaming?

No. Due to satellite broadband having a high latency, it is not a good choice for activities that require fast responsiveness, such as online gaming.

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The services and products mentioned on this website may only represent a small selection of the options available to you. Selectra encourages you to carry out your own research and seek advice if necessary before making any decisions. We may receive commission from selected partner providers on sales of some products and/or services mentioned within this website. Our website is free to use, and the commission we receive does not affect our opinion or the information we provide.