Eircom this afternoon revealed that it plans to cut the wholesale price of broadband by 25pc from the current monthly rate of €27 for other licensed operators to €20.10 from 1 March.
UPDATE – Esat BT, the number two player in the Irish telecoms marketplace, has welcomed the wholesale price reduction but warned consumers to wait before selecting providers until 1 March when all the various operators will have restructured their offerings.
Esat BT spokesperson Una McGirr said: “After months of dragging their heels, we are happy to see Eircom finally come to market with some competitive offerings for the wholesale sector. In response, we will be launching a number of competitively priced broadband services on 1 March which will undercut today’s price announcement from Eircom, so we’d certainly encourage customers to wait until then if they want to get the best rates possible.”
The news was also welcomed by the chairman of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), John Doherty, who said: “I believe that these moves will contribute to the development of an expanding and more competitive and vibrant broadband market in Ireland, where consumers will be able to benefit from lower prices and choose from a number of different service providers.”
On the heels of the announcement, the company has introduced a new range of broadband products starting at €39.99 a month. It may be expected that other DSL providers in the Irish market, including UTV Internet and Esat BT, will follow with similar 25pc price cuts.
Making the announcement, Eircom said it is urging other operators to do more to promote broadband as well as revealing its own plans to extend broadband out to smaller communities in Ireland.
Based on the new wholesale price, Eircom Retail will introduce a range of broadband products starting at €39.99, which the company claims will make broadband in Ireland among the cheapest in Europe.
David McRedmond, Eircom’s commercial director, said: “This is about Eircom’s leadership in both the supply of and the demand for broadband in Ireland. Leading on demand means good prices, good marketing and enthusiastic selling. To date Eircom has been the driver. We urge other operators to join in this drive to ensure that Ireland is a broadband leader.
“For Eircom, the sole national provider of broadband in Ireland, leading on supply means extending the roll-out of broadband. Late last year we committed to bringing broadband to every town in Ireland. This week we launched a programme which goes beyond that and extends our broadband roll-out to smaller communities, with populations less that 1,500. This is how we will ensure that Ireland is a broadband leader,” McRedmond added.
By John Kennedy