[Release] eircom offering too little too late

Damien Mulley - IrelandOffline info at irelandoffline.org
Tue Mar 15 08:23:12 GMT 2005


###BEGINS###

[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]


Consumer group IrelandOffline welcomes eircom announcement but says it 
doesn't go far enough.

Speaking this morning, IrelandOffline chairman Damien Mulley stated 
"IrelandOffline welcome eircom to the 21st century. Eircom's announcement 
of increased speeds over their bitstream ADSL service is welcome but 
doesn't go far enough. Eircom completely failed to address the pricing 
issues, which means Ireland will continue to be one of the most expensive 
countries in the OECD for entry level broadband services, while continuing 
to fall behind in high speed access.This announcement would have been 
impressive if it was made two years ago, but instead we are now left 
playing catch-up once again while most other countries start to break the 
10mbit barrier for cheap broadband services. Eircom are besotted with 
squeezing as much money out of the consumer with the double barrelled 
pricing structure of over-inflated wholesale prices and a line rental 8 
euros higher than the EU average"

While 2mbit services are standard in most EU countries, a number have 
significantly passed this figure. Standard services in France now exceed 
8mbit with a new 20mb service being offered for €35 per month, while BT in 
the UK and Northern Ireland are planning to increase their standard service 
to 8mbit later this year. 100mbit services - 50 times faster than eircom's 
new services - have been available in Sweden for more than a year at 
similar pricing to eircom's current offerings. Meanwhile, eircom will 
struggle to ever exceed 2mbit in many places due to the poor quality of the 
network.

Spokesperson Aidan Whyte said "While this announcement is good news for 
those that can already receive broadband services over their phone lines, 
more than 20% of people that are connected to enabled exchanges still fail 
minimum line quality standards. This is an extraordinarily high figure, 
when you compare it to the likes of the UK and Northern Ireland where the 
number of lines failing the test is less than 1%. This announcement will 
ring hollow for the tens of thousands that are unable to take advantage of 
any ADSL service because eircom simply fail to maintain their network to 
basic international standards. In fact, this increase will further 
exacerbate the digital divide that plagues Ireland at the moment. Rural 
Ireland is left to suffer dial up while eircom once again uses the cheapest 
option to stymie competition."

Whyte added "Eircom recently appealed a ComReg decision to the High Court 
in an attempt to further disrupt and delay true competition via Local Loop 
Unbundling (LLU). It is no coincidence that eircom have produced these 
speed increases within weeks of Smart Telecom announcing their forthcoming 
services that operate over LLU. This is an obvious example of how eircom 
will use every trick in the book to try and sustain their dominant position 
in the broadband sector. Now more than ever ComReg need to make sure that 
competition is possible and sustainable in the sector."


###ENDS###


MEDIA CONTACTS
--------------
Damien Mulley <<mailto:chairman at irelandoffline.org>chairman at irelandoffline.org>
John Timmons <<mailto:info at irelandoffline.org>info at irelandoffline.org> 
Mobile: 087 284 8079



ABOUT IRELANDOFFLINE
--------------------

IrelandOffline is a voluntary organisation consisting of home and
business Internet users unhappy with currently available Internet
connectivity products and services. Its brief is to campaign for the
development of flat-rate and high-speed Internet access services and to
promote innovation and competition in the Irish Internet marketplace.
The group currently represents over 2300 Internet users.

For more information on the organisation, please visit the
IrelandOffline website at 
<http://irelandoffline.org/>http://irelandoffline.org/






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