Irish Broadband – Slowband?

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I'd heard a lot of people complaining about IBB's services

If you aren't familiar with them, they are an Irish company that offers a number of wireless internet access solutions to business and personal clients primarily in Dublin, but who have more recently expanded their offerings to cover other parts of the country.
For the past couple of years we have been using Netsource and I have always been very happy with their service. However we recently did a review of our broadband connections and thought we'd shop around a bit.
Digiweb's pricing wasn't overly attractive, so we decided against them early on.
Irish Broadband's pricing, however, seemed to be very good value for money. We were very conscious of the issues that their clients had been experiencing in other part of the country, and had been following some of the discussions closely.
Carlow is a growing regional town and has had DSL for the last 3 years (give or take a few months). Most of the town's businesses and residences probably have broadband connections from one of the other ISPs, so it is extremely unlikely that the IBB connection would be "maxed out" in the first few weeks.
Bearing that in mind I switched my home connection over to IBB this afternoon to run some basic tests.
One user on the network. No background downloads or other processes.
I should have been getting something close to my connection's advertised speed. I'm not expecting to get the full speed, as I am all too aware of the various factors that can affect a connection, but that would not justify the low quality that I experienced.
Pings and traceroutes to the "gateway" IP, which is on the mast on the side of the closest mountain / hill should have been sub 10 ms, yet I was consistently getting 60 ms or more.
I also tried a number of traceroutes to various Irish servers via Inex and via other routes, as well as from a number of foreign servers back to Ireland (one of the advantages of running a hosting company! 🙂 )
All tests showed the same kind of results. The connection was terrible.
In a number of the tests that I ran I actually got worse download speeds than I would have done on a 56k dialup connection!
Now it is possible that IBB were having issues or that the connection to Carlow will be improved. However should I have to play the "understanding and patient customer" ?
If the connection was just for my home and was to be used for my "leisure" activities it would be one thing (though 56k is more than a little too slow), but we had ordered connections for our offices as well.
Would I be unreasonable to want to disconnect IBB completely and stick with my current ISP??

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50 Responses to Irish Broadband – Slowband?

  1. Anthony November 21, 2005 at 10:53 am #

    I’ve heard nothing but criticism of IBB. Interestingly, I once went for an interview with them about 2 years ago now and was struck by their lack of technical knowledge outside of wireless. I had a long conversation about the benefits of relational databases for storing company information whereas they had been using Microsoft Access. I knew at that time that I probably wasn’t suited to the company.

  2. Ed November 21, 2005 at 11:24 am #

    I have heard nothing but bad things about their connections also. I have a friend who has their ripwave “offering” and he is constantly loosing his connection. I have also heard of people having mixed experiences with breezewave. Personally I don’t think that IBB are upto much and their customer service is awful.
    Michele surely your net connection is to valuable to you to risk going with a patchy service

  3. blacknight November 21, 2005 at 11:35 am #

    Ed – as I mentioned, we reviewed our costs and wanted to reduce them. I’m going to wait and see how things pan out with the other IBB connections, but I don’t feel confident.

  4. hostyle November 21, 2005 at 2:23 pm #

    From all reports I have seen and heard, all of the Irish wireless ISPs offer ofetn-shoddy service and woeful support.
    Its well over a month since Digiweb started trumpetting their Metro product offerings in all majors cities (including Limerick), yet they are still not able (or willing) to explain to anyone why they are still unable to offer their service in Limerick as advertised.
    IBB are a joke according to hundreds of users, and their non-LOS product requires LOS, which defeats the whole purpose of offering such a service.
    LEAP claim coverage of most of Limerick, but I know of many companies unable to avail of this service in the City Centre (including ourselves).
    Until someone rolls out a real WiMax product, its best stauy away from wireless broadband in Ireland.

  5. conall November 21, 2005 at 2:35 pm #

    I’ve had an IBB connection to a home office in Dublin for about 11 months now.
    While I do think the people on are just whining, I’m not overly enthusiastic about IBB, mainly from encounters with their tech support. Their wireless link is ok, but there will always be packet loss and latency issues, it’s wireless after all!
    I’ve had an email based jihad with them for 8 months trying to get the reverse DNS zone of my allocated PA delegated to my nameservers, but since they run DJBDNS, they could only delegate a /24. I eventually got an agreement from them that I will receive control when they convert to BIND9, which is still yet to happen.
    At the moment, I’m evaluating them to see if I should continue to deal with them. My link has been down since late last week when building work resulted in a cable break to my transmitter. If they are not able to repair a business link within 2 – 3 business days of receiving a report, I’m not happy to use them for a broadband provider for an office.

  6. sliabh November 21, 2005 at 8:02 pm #

    The word within the industry is that IBB’s backbone is maxed out. So they really should not be looking for more users, and it is probably the cause of many people’s slow service.

  7. blacknight November 21, 2005 at 8:06 pm #

    Sliabh – I had heard some rumours, but thought it was Dublin specific
    Conall – Tech support is essential, especially if you are using the connection for business. We’ve always had fantastic support from Netsource.

  8. Philip November 21, 2005 at 11:25 pm #

    I’ve suffered Ripwave for eighteen months, thinking IBB were bound to get it right over time. It works quite well for a while, giving me a false sense of confidence, but then it will go through a period of falling over several times a day.
    Support is a waste of time. When you finally get through, there’s a list of stock answers which I now know by heart (I was lucky enough to get a guy once who impressed me).
    I’m switching to It involves changing the phone account too, though not the number, as SmartTelecom demands for broadband. (The tortured process of getting broadband from Smart is a whole other story).
    Cost is €20 a month (same as Ripwave) for 2Mb download speeds for the home offering, €45 installation. It will take a couple of weeks all told, but if it gives me anything approaching 2Mb, steadily, then that will be me happy for a year or so at least.

  9. Rob November 23, 2005 at 2:17 am #

    Anthony, Access is a relational database. Not an impressive one, but a relational database nonetheless.
    My summer job connected to the internet through IBB. I was less than impressed. Great latencies when it was actually working properly (this was an issue due to extensive use of remote machines), not-so-great when it wasn’t (~1sec). Transfer rates uniformly poor. This was on the Three Rock antenna.

  10. Ferg (Galway City) November 30, 2005 at 5:07 pm #

    Received the IBB wireless RipWave package (4 week wait) for €18.50p/m.
    Wireless is a misnomer here because the modem will only pick up a signal when placed at the kitchen window so I have to then run an Ethernet cable half way across the house to the PC.
    Ripwave claims to offer up to 512kbps but this figure is actually more like 50kbps (roughly the same as mediocre dialup)
    The best thing I can say about IBB is that I was not required to sign any contract and can return the package without any quibble (I hope).

  11. T. Kirby November 30, 2005 at 9:09 pm #

    Just put in Ripwave.
    Downloaded Adobe Reader (20 MB) in 35 minutes.
    Ought be done in 6 minutes.
    Glad to be out of web cafes for email but not for this poor level of service.
    Any other Limerick Ripwave perspectives?

  12. Derrick December 8, 2005 at 10:13 am #

    Stay away from digiweb’s (dodgyweb) wireless service. I was with them for 18 months and experienced an up and down connection speed, mostly down until finally i couldn’t get connected at all. After numerous engineer call outs and lame excuses over the phone they finally told me I couldn’t get wireless broadband in my area… I then asked why did they wait until now to tell me this. They couldn’t give me a straight answer so I finally cancelled the service and that even took 6 weeks due to there crap customer service.
    Stay away!!

  13. James December 22, 2005 at 10:58 pm #

    COMREG should shut these people down. How they can get away with it is typical of ireland. The connection in Carlow is down every other night, you can never get through to teh support without getting brain tumours or my battery dieing, and they try to fob you off with a “yes their was a problem but it has now been resolved” reply every time. The last one I got from them was quite agressive in tone, yes I was pissed off, and told them so, but wouldnt you be when they take money from you and your connection is only up at best 1/2 the time, and you cant contact anyone worthwhile in the company?

  14. Patrick January 5, 2006 at 3:57 pm #

    I am also an unfortunate customer of IBB, James my sympathy I know what your going through. They are a third rate company offering a third rate service on third world infrastructure. They are best compared with a trojan virus. Looks nice, glossy package (cool ads), but unlike others, it doesnt do anything it says on the tin. I agree they should be shut down.

  15. Aidan January 6, 2006 at 11:24 am #

    Signed up to I.B.B. Breezemax 2 months ago. It has been a disaster. Service is crap & customer support is crap. Have had no service for over 2 weeks now & have been informed by IBB that it could be another 2 weeks before their highsite is fixed. I am 7k outside of Carlow town & my telephone line is not enabled for broadband. Does anyone know of another wireless broadband provider in the greater carlow area?

  16. Mark January 6, 2006 at 11:57 am #

    I’ve been the Ripwave home product in the Liberties in Dublin city centre for a few months and it has been awful. Connection speed is appalling (much worse than 56k modem – I’d use one of those instead if I had a landline), packet loss is often up to 75% (tho, this does improve the higher up and nearer a window the modem gets) and occassionally I can’t get connected at all for a couple of days. I’ve continued using it because we paid for 3 months up front and I can’t imagine it would have been worth the hassle trying to get 75 quid back out of IBB. I’ll be cancelling over the next few days to avoid paying any more money to them.

  17. bob January 19, 2006 at 4:44 pm #

    Aidan, you should find another provider on

  18. Michael January 24, 2006 at 7:50 pm #

    I must be one of the lucky ones. I have been using Ripwave for about four months now.
    I only use it at home recreationally, but I have had a relatively positive experience with it.
    Just tested my speed on and my download speed is 463kbps and my upload speed is 104kbps.
    If I was using Ripwave all day everyday my experience may be quite different.

  19. Paul February 27, 2006 at 8:47 pm #

    I have a 2MB corp. connection and have just tried working from home this evening and surprise surprise, looking at 4KB/S as an IBB victim…….nobody will answer my complaints or return my calls……waste of time, €48.80 a month for this crap?… more!!!direct debit is cancelled, see how they act then…..

  20. Pit February 27, 2006 at 10:19 pm #

    Interesting discussion here… Please tell me which wireless IPS are worth money. In Dublin area. (No phone or cable line here)

  21. michele February 27, 2006 at 10:22 pm #

    You might find more lively discussion over on

  22. Dream team March 3, 2006 at 11:38 pm #

    I have ripwave connection with IBB,512Kbps download speed,but I had never injoyed it, it’s lies…

  23. Eric March 4, 2006 at 8:22 pm #

    got breeze 1mb connection (yea right). very slow. i do the eircom speed test it tels my connection is “typical of a connection faster than 56k”. Thats just barely faster than dial up. it takes me about 15 mins to download a single song. not good value, and brought to you by the very same people you pay your M50 toll to. yes, their slogan should be “NTR – milking you on the road, milking you at home”. I suspect NTR & IBB are chaired my the horned beast himself.

  24. Patrick March 25, 2006 at 1:05 am #

    I have found them to be an infuriating company to deal with.
    Without going into too much detail, although I do have some documentary evidence by way of screenshots of speed tests and e-mails to customer services, since I have been a customer of theirs I have had little satisfaction with the service I am paying for.
    I signed up to their “Breeze” 1Mb wireless broadband service in October 2005. I was reasonably happy with the service at first, but after 3 weeks, the speed of my connection got progressively worse until I could not get any connection at all. Zero. That was early December. It was on/off for around three weeks, perhaps 40% up 60% down, until 22 December connection failed completely. I tried several times to contact customer care, on one occasion I waited 47 minutes on hold before my mobile battery gave up. Finally got through, the rep took details of the problem, after putting me on hold for 10 minutes, and said they would call back no later than the next morning. Never got a call back. I contacted support by e-mail three times before I got a reply. The reply was that they were aware of the problem but it had been fixed, no apology or explanation. But it was not fixed, I still could not connect, and when I replied with this information, the return e-mail from their support was rather aggressive in tone insinuating I was a liar and that “at no stage should customers loose connection” though it might slow down. It took 4 weeks for them to admit their was a problem, they said they were sending out a letter to all their customers to explain and apologise, a letter that I can only assume got lost in the post. They told me they would refund my payments (they continued to charge my credit card even though I had NO service) but they still charged me. I can go on and on but I will just get more bitter towards them. I cannot understand how a company can be allowed to behave in this way with no consequences. It is not fair, it is not right and something must be done.

  25. Seosamh O RIain April 13, 2006 at 6:47 pm #

    Looks like I am not the only one suffering with them either…I had service installed late last December 2005 (a week before Christmas) and the service has been intermittent ever since…to date I have made 63 calls to them, often being left on hold for 20 minutes in the majority of calls….I asked them on 5 different ocassions to remove service and it still has not been done!!! However, when I cancelled and witheld the payment I received a final notice from them!!! Money is the only language they speak and understand because it suits them. I have been to ComReg about them and they are only too well aware of it all but say there is not much they can do about it without my having resolved it to the best of my ability with IBB first…that freaked me out…what does 63 calls mean to ComReg? They are useless also…..
    I think it is about time that people just withold payment and see how IBB goes from there with this…bet you they will get message quickly…I have number and name of head of (alleged0 Customer Care and her number if anyone wants it….

  26. Paul Walsh April 17, 2006 at 7:10 pm #

    I had Irish Broadband (the ripwave) for three months. After countless phone calls, most of which were never answered, I just walked into my bank canceled the direct debit, and then i sold the ripwave on e-bay to get my money back as it would be too much hassle to “ask” them for a refund.
    I wont bore you with the details but in 89 days of trying to get it working, it only worked for 6 days in total, latancy and ping times were incredible. I ran test three times just to make sure.
    COMREG were useless as the dont have the legal powers required to force IBB to fix the mess.
    And yeah, I had an interview for a job with them once, so I can verify they use MS Access for their database.
    Whoever qouted “money is the only thing they understad” is correct, as the next day I had a rep from IBB asking me why I had not paid the Direct debit. God IBB must have balls to asking me for money when they gave me service less then 6% of the time.
    So right now I have service by Clearewire. Its brilliant and has given me no hassle at all in the last 8 months. Ok sure very occaisionally I will have slow speeds buts not for very long.
    Somebody should take IBB to court for mis-selling a “service” and appalling tech support.

  27. paul ; galway April 18, 2006 at 8:30 pm #

    hi everone. lets put a stop to this false adverstising from I BB about their ripwave service. we know its crap. lets force comregs hand on this. its the only way legally.
    come on start emailing those people who are in a position to do something about it.
    MAYBE when they get enough complaints they will act.

  28. Paul Walsh April 19, 2006 at 1:38 am #

    Yeah, I would consider a class action against IBB. You can count me in there.

  29. Seosamh O Riain April 19, 2006 at 10:48 am #

    Good morning all,
    I had contact from IBB yesterday evening offerng to strengthen my reception by either friday or monday of this coming week…after all those calls which I have tallied to have cost me just over 200 euros….
    They have offered to clear my outstanding debt…nice of them considering they were
    1. Telling me I had to pay a full month service even though it was not installed until the middle of that particular month…
    2. Charging me for a service that was certainly underperforming adn mainly not performing at all…..
    3. Rude arrogant and basically useless on telephone when you eventually got through to them….(15 minutes on hold going from answering service to answering service)
    4. Sending final notice seeking payment even though they are legally obliged to send at least 2 other notices before a final notice…..
    If you are going for a class action I am in there and can recommend a good solicitor for it…under the Goods (Trade and Description Act) they are certainly misselling a product that cannot be described other than blatant lies….
    ComReg…useless organisation they are indeed…..but can I advise you all to at least email them your dealings with IBB…….dont expect anything to happen…it is ComReg after all…..
    Anyone looking for details etc get back to me on

  30. Seosamh O Riain May 6, 2006 at 12:26 pm #

    I have had no joy with IBB since last comment and it certainly dont look as if it is going to improve….they have offered to rectify the situation by strengthening the signal but if anything the system has gone downhill so rapid it would earn at least 6 penalty points…..ComReg have failed to do anything and seem to be so insistent on avoiding the matter one does have to wonder if they have shares in IBB at this stage…..IBB have sent a letter to me saying if service is not proper by end of May they will remove me from the system…I am not one providing the service so what it seems now is that if someone complains we just knock them off the service as it means we dont have to take the grief for our own mistakes…they rang me at one stage asking to do a test on teh line and I told them I was not going to be available for a few days as I was away but told them when I would be back…I was told they would contact me on my return…on the 3 days I was away, they rang me 5 times and each time I had to tell them I was not available and I had told the person, Martin O Toole who took my details, of when I would and would not be available…5 calls in 3 days I was not available…now that I am available…no calls….what they playing at?

  31. Lisa July 31, 2006 at 2:18 am #

    Wow they sound rubbish. How is Digiweb? Anyone used this company? I’m not in a wireless area so I’m pretty limited on what i can use.

  32. Joe July 31, 2006 at 1:41 pm #

    As far as i know, Digiweb operate similar to IBB, they are also wireless service providers. Si if you are not in a wireless area, their is not much point is there.

  33. michele August 3, 2006 at 8:16 pm #

    Lisa – I haven’t heard much about their service and as I mentioned we didn’t find their pricing that attractive when we were looking around.
    Having said that the number of companies offering both wired and wireless broadband is growing all the time, so it’s worth ringing around, though I’d check some of the forums as well

  34. Gp August 21, 2006 at 12:16 pm #

    IBB is not only slow but also dishonest in their dealings. I had ordered broadabnd once and didn’t get any connectivity. Whan I rang, I got slopy answer something like, you are just outside coverage (I still don;t understan how, given that I live in D3.). Then I aked them to cancle the connection since it is n good to me (I was still under 30day return obligation). they didn’t pick up the modem for 2 weeks. I had to change them to pick it up. then never got refund. To my astonishment, they charged me 2nd month for the sevice I never used (they had my credit card number). It didn’t stop there, want on 3rd month as well. I had to report to CommReg to get them stop charging me. Leason learned (with waste of time and money)- never trust Irish Broad Band (or any of their susidery comapneis).

  35. michele August 21, 2006 at 1:05 pm #

    Did you get any refund?

  36. Gp August 30, 2006 at 9:45 am #

    2 months refund but never got 1 month renta back.

  37. Persol January 20, 2007 at 12:04 am #

    IBB is the worst internet provider I have ever heard of. I can`t understand how they are getting away with this !!!! They are even sueing their customers who refused to pay for their CRAP service. So be careful! They are not offering any service at all, and they want you to pay for it, and if not they will sue you to make you pay ! Welcome to Ireland !!!

  38. Derry January 20, 2007 at 12:06 am #

    Ripwave = Ripoff

  39. michele January 20, 2007 at 7:25 am #

    Persol – do you have any proof of them suing or is that purely anecdotary?

  40. richaard January 21, 2007 at 11:36 pm #

    unfortunaste i can only get wireless with ibb, i must take it for work. it is better than dial up although sometimes only just, at certain times of the day it gets very slow! overall, not too bad, but only as a last option if others fail i think because not too good either (at least compared to india)

  41. Persol January 29, 2007 at 5:22 pm #

    Yes Michelle. I do have proof. They sued me for refusing to pay 2 months bills. I was with IBB for more than a year. Always problems, sudden disconnections and very slow line even if I m supposed to have a 2Mbs line. Ringing their customer support is like calling for help in the middle of the Northern Pole, there you last! Can you imagine that the two techs who came to install their antenna warned me of the “Crapiness” of IBB!!

  42. Shane Noone February 1, 2007 at 3:03 am #

    I wanted to comment sooner but my RIPWAVE connection kept failing!!I’m cancelling my connection as soon as the prepaid time expires.

  43. Joe Cullane February 2, 2007 at 11:03 pm #

    Actually my download speeds are good when they get going, but sometimes it takes ages for a website to start loading, then when it gets going BANG its up. Its like an aul Fiat Punto, spluttering and coughing then it gets going and wham, its fast as a scalded cat. But like a punto, somedays it so bad its almost useless itll piss ya off that much. but i have no other option at the moment.

  44. John May 12, 2007 at 12:17 am #

    My broadband connection (breeze 2mb) has gone really slow. It is a lot slower than dial up so this is what I did:
    1. Rang IBB customer support. I waited about 5 min and all the credit on my mobile phone was gone and could not get speak to them. I didnt know that they charge when customers ring thier customer support.
    2. When I got to speak to a customer support rep on the following day, he said he was sending engineers to my house on the following day. I took half day from work and was waiting for the engineers at home but they never showed up.
    3. IBB apologied for thier engineers not showing up and said that they were sending engineers on the following day. They showed up this time but said that they could not climb to the roof. They could not fix my broadband and said that thier customer support would ring me in a couple of hours – I never recieved phone call that day.
    4. I rang customer support and asked him to ring me back as credit on my mobile phone was close to 0. They took my number and said they would ring straight away – I never got a call from them that day.
    5. On the following day, I rang customer support again and was told that they were trying to sort it out and would ring me back and tell me how they were going to fix the issue – I never got a call from them.
    At present, my broadband connection is still very very slow and can not do much.

  45. John May 17, 2007 at 4:36 pm #

    6. a couple of days later, I got an email saying that they can not not provide service due to some network issue in my area. On the same day, I signed up with another broadband company
    7. On the following day, IBB rang me and said that they wanted to arrange to send engineers to me. I said to her “Im very confused as I was told that they can no longer provide service in my area” with frustration. She said I am rude and just hang up.
    8. Another guy in IBB contact me a couple days later. This is the first person who tried to help me out. He was calm, knew what was going on and knew what the problem was. He said he was going to ring me once he finishes arranging to send engineers. A couple of hours later, he rang me back and was told that engineers were going to come to my house on the following day.
    9. Engineers came to my house – they were not IBB engineers. They get contract job with IBB. They were efficient, polite and got job done in 20 min. My Broadband is back to normal now.
    10. It seems that IBB engineers who did not show up for the first time + didnt climb up to the roof told customer support that they tried to climb to the roob with radder and cherry picker but I didnt see them even take off the ladder from the car. I did not see them using cherry picker. They spoke to me for about 5 to 10min. After they told me that they can not climb to the roof because its against health and safety, they went back to thier car and stayed in thier car reading newspaper for 15 to 20 min and eventually went off. I remember this very well because I was looking at them from my room hoping that they would come back and fix my broadband.

  46. paddy June 14, 2007 at 10:24 am #

    I must say IBB is somthing speacial it was broke for 4 months i rang countless times…eventually some1 fixed it but they told me previously that if it was my pc that was the prob i pay 100 euros (approx) now that i got it fixed they want me too pay for the months it was broke i asked 1 simple question too the non-national that didnt have a great comand of the english language (would u pay for somthing that did not work) he responed with sir could u plz hold i did until credit went which was a good 5 min (Calls may be recorded for training purposes this company isnt far off being a SCAM)also got a big bill because money was going from my account cause 1 of there special gifted empolyees spelt my name wrong

  47. James June 14, 2007 at 10:57 am #

    My roof started leaking. My dad looked at the roof and told me several tiles were broken. He asked who installed the arial thingy on the roof. He told me it looked like whoever installed it didn’t take proper care, because all the broken tiles were around that area. I called IBB and they told me that because it was installed months ago, it must be something else that broke the tiles and have no responsibility for external contractors. Now I have to get my roof repaired as well as put up with a dodgy internet service.

  48. Dublin Rob August 6, 2007 at 9:36 pm #

    I’ve been with them for 2 months now, i switched over from clearwire as they were nothing short of a joke.
    I signed up for their 3mb package and phone service. At first is was good and i was getting speeds very close to 3mb, now its very slow, i done a speedtest a while ago and it was only 63 kb/s, thats shocking and of no use to me, the phone reception is poor aswell,always crackling. I thought they were just having some issues so have not phoned them yet but will be doing so in the morning as i’m definately not getting what u signed up to.

  49. paul b August 17, 2007 at 11:57 am #

    i,m getting breeze 3mdown 3 m up from irish broadband today . thinking of canceling it after reading the feed back they sound awful

  50. David December 1, 2007 at 4:35 am #

    Hi there, I am installing skydsl satellite internet at the moment in all area of Ireland including carlow. It’s a 1-way Satellite system, offers a 1Mb download speed and unlimted downloading, the main reason i mention it after reading the blog is that it is available everywhere and it works. If you need any more info on it you can send me an email.

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