Public service broadcasting in Ireland means comprehensive radio and television services that are free to transmit programmes that entertain, educates, inform and cater for all members of the community. These services must also provide news and current affairs programmes, including coverage of proceedings in the Houses of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) and the European Parliament.
Each year, the government provides a grant to RTE (the national broadcasting organisation), which is funded by the television licence fee. RTE has responsibilities to deliver public service programmes in Ireland. The television licence fee is collected by An Post on behalf of the Minister for Department of Communication, Climate Action and the Environment, who has responsibility for broadcasting policy in Ireland.
Every household, business, or institution in Ireland with a television or equipment capable of receiving a television signal (using an aerial, satellite dish, cable or other means) must have a television licence. A television licence is a certificate that states that you have paid the appropriate fee to the government and contributed to the cost of public service broadcasting in Ireland. Your television licence is issued for 1 year in general.
There are 72 Radio and TV channels in Ireland. The major stations include:
Free TV channels:
The main providers of cable are:
While Sky is the biggest single multichannel television network in Ireland broadcasting digital satellite television services, it is by no means the only satellite broadcasts available. Virgin Media Ireland, Magnet Networks, Eir and Smart Vision, among others, provide similar digital television services to Irish viewers, and most free to air broadcasts available in Europe are available in Ireland via the right receiver (set top box) and a dish pointed at the correct satellite.
Internet is used by at least 77% of the population. There are many different options for accessing the Internet from your home. Options include:
The option you choose can depend on cost, connection speed, quality of connection and whether a service is available in your area.
The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) provides information on Internet services on Comreg's website.
The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) regulates Internet service providers. There are a wide variety of them operating in the market, each using different technologies and offering different services to users.
Most providers offer service packages that, in addition to an Internet connection, also include a phone line and interactive TV. The speed and price of the Internet connection depends on the infrastructure available at your address. Commonly the price of a router is included in the contract, however you can choose to buy your own.
You can find a list of the Internet service providers authorised to operate in Ireland on ComReg's independent price guide website, as well as a price guide that will allow you to compare the costs of home phone, broadband, mobile phone and combined packages for your specific usage needs.
Moreover, the Irish government's broadband site provides information on broadband to the general public. This website will allow you to locate a broadband provider for the town where you live.
The main Irish broadband providers are:
WiFi is offered around the city for free and it is available 24/7 at various hotspots. The free version of the service provides a download speed of 512Kbps and an upload speed of 128Kbps.
A premium service is also available:
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