In what is growing into a battle royal for the hearts and pockets of consumers and businesses, BT Ireland has hit back at Eircom’s various time-based offerings with a €15 flat rate always-on offer for first-time users.
For new broadband users BT Ireland is offering a basic 1Mb offering including line rental for €25 a month and a further 2Mb offering including line rental for €35 a month. The offer will start on 11 July and will continue for four months.
For existing broadband subscribers, BT Ireland is offering 1Mb of always-on broadband for €30 a month. Including line rental, 1Mb of always on will cost €40 a month for existing users. Access to the 2Mb service will now cost €40 a month, and including line rental a total of €50 a month.
Describing the move as part of a plan to re-energise the market and encourage consumers to sign up for always-on broadband at flat prices, BT Ireland chief operating officer Mike Maloney said: “With the growth rate of broadband subscriptions in decline, we believe the recent introduction of ‘time-based’ or ‘clock-watching’ broadband services could serve to further stagnate broadband adoption in the market.
“Research has consistently shown that consumers want the benefits of always-on broadband with the peace of mind of predictable flat rate costs each month.
“As the market evolves and local loop unbundling becomes a reality for the consumer market, BT Ireland will continue to innovate on product features, price and service quality. One example is ‘traffic-based’ broadband which measures data usage and won’t penalise consumers for being always on,” Maloney said.
BT Ireland’s move was welcomed by lobby group IrelandOfflline, whose spokesman Damien Mulley, commented: “This is the best offer yet in the market and will be a great motivator to lead the Irish dial-up population into broadband promised land. Irish businesses and consumers have long needed a cheap and always-on entry-level product. The Irish broadband revolution is finally starting to happen.”
By John Kennedy