99pc of UPC broadband customers to upgrade to 20Mbps

20 Jul 2011

UPC is embarking on a major upgrade that will see 99pc of its existing broadband customers move to speeds of 20Mbps or higher. The company also revealed that one-third of customers will see a price increase of €1 to €2 on their bills from September.

The company said this morning that by the end of August 2011, 99pc (190,000) of UPC’s 215,000 broadband customers will be on speeds of 20Mb or higher. The remaining 1pc is being upgraded from 1Mb to 12Mb. In addition, UPC is increasing its download allowance on all its broadband tiers to 500GB, which is double that of Eircom’s highest available download limit.

“20Mbps as a minimum speed will allow everyone in the home to experience the web to its absolute fullest,” Mark Coan, UPC Ireland sales and marketing director, explained.

“We also want our customers to have a fulfilling online experience, and to help them do this we are making our download allowance on all our services over 50 times as high as Eircom’s entry download cap. This means the average UPC customer doesn’t have to worry about download limits at all anymore.”

The company also announced it will simplify its call rate charges. “We are also intent on improving and simplifying our phone packs by reducing the number of international rate bands from over 50 today to only 13 from September while also including a substantial amount of international free minutes into all call packages.

“We are less than Eircom on all domestic and international rates and by doing this we will make it even easier for Irish consumers to compare and see the benefit they get by choosing UPC as their phone provider.”

Price increases loom at UPC

UPC used the broadband announcement to slip in the unsavoury news that a third of customers will experience a €1 to €2 increase in their bills.

“From 5th September 2011, there will also be a few changes to UPC pricing which will affect some customers. Only one-third of customers will receive any price increases, the majority of whom will experience increases from €1-€2 on their monthly subscription,” the company said.

UPC is also introducing two new channels to its line-up from 5 September: the Food Network and True Movies.

Last month, UPC became embroiled in a war of words with rival broadband and TV services provider Magnet Networks over UPC’s use of the word ‘fibre’ in its advertising of its Fibre Power service.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years