The national broadband targets of Ireland are in line with the Digital Agenda for Europe, both for coverage and take up. Today, 74% of Ireland’s premises have access to high-speed broadband, climbing to 90% by 2020.

Summary of broadband development in Ireland

Goals of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) for Ireland meet the European Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe targets aiming at 77% coverage of high-speed broadband by the end of 2018 and 90% coverage by 2020. The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment will continue to monitor demand side trends and any changes in supply side costs to determine whether a greater contribution to the demand side target by 2020 is possible. In May 2019, the Department approved the appointment of a "Preferred Bidder" as the final step in the NBP procurement process to select a company or companies who will roll out a new high-speed broadband network in the national broadband plan state intervention area (non-commercial high-speed broadband area).

National broadband strategy and policy

Responsible authorities

Main aims for broadband coverage

The National Broadband Plan for Ireland - Delivering a Connected Society was adopted in 2012, updated in 2015 and sets targets for 2020. Its core objectives are to contribute to sustained macro-economic growth and competitiveness. It also aims to ensure that Ireland is best placed to take advantage of the emerging opportunities of the information and knowledge society by:

  • promoting investment in state of the art infrastructures,
  • providing a supportive legislative framework,
  • providing a regulatory environment,
  • developing leading-edge research and
  • developing reputation in information, communications and digital technologies.

Furthermore, the government proclaimed its determination to ensure fast and reliable broadband access throughout Ireland. In December 2015, the Irish government published an updated version of the National Broadband Plan (Ireland’s Broadband Intervention Strategy) taking into account the inputs from members of the public, industry and stakeholders. It sets the target of 100% coverage of minimum 30 Mbps throughout the country and 50% take up of minimum 100 Mbps by the end of 2020.

Main measures for broadband coverage

  • Broadband mapping: the Irish government has established an interactive High-Speed Broadband Map. The mapping tool provides an overview of the areas covered by operators and areas subject to the State Intervention of the National Broadband Plan. The latest update shows progress in the deployment of high-speed broadband in the blue areas on the map up until the end of December 2018, including those premises passed under the eir Commitment Agreement.

National and regional broadband financial instruments

The State intervention aims at connecting all communities, as commercial operators have made it clear that there are parts of the country where they will not make high-speed broadband services available commercially. The State intervention aims to provide high-speed broadband to every premises in the country with no existing or planned high-speed broadband network. This is a complex and ambitious national infrastructure project to build, operate and maintain a high-speed broadband network over a 25-year contract.

Data on broadband development and technologies in Ireland

For the latest data on broadband coverage, subscriptions and penetrations, coverage of different broadband technologies and costs check the scoreboard reports and the country reports of the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI).

Spectrum assignments for wireless broadband

For details on harmonised spectrum assignments consult the study on Spectrum assignments in the EU.

National publications and press documents

Contact information

BCO Ireland (national Broadband Competence Office): Communications Division of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Address: 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin, D02 X285, Ireland
Contact via email
Phone: +353 1 6782337

Commission for Communications Regulation

Address: 1 Dockland Central, Guild Street, Dublin 1, D01 E4X0, Ireland
Contact via email
Phone: + 353 1 804 9600

Country information - Ireland