Eircom confirms delay in broadband upgrade

7 Jul 2008

Eircom has confirmed that a plan to upgrade broadband connections up to 7.6Mbps, 10Mbps and 12Mbps has been delayed because some of the upgrades require manual processes.

In January this year, Eircom said DSL subscribers who were receiving a 2Mbps service would be upgraded to 3Mbps, 3Mbps subscribers would be upgraded to 7.6Mbps, 4Mbps subscribers to 10Mbps and 6Mbps subscribers would see their speed double to 12Mbps.

The company said the rollout would be complete by June.

However, siliconrepublic.com has learned many of the planned exchange upgrades are still incomplete and bitstream resellers such as BT Ireland have been informing users they have heard from Eircom Wholesale that there will be delays.

Speaking with siliconrepublic.com, a spokesman confirmed there has indeed been a delay.

So far, he explained, 100 exchanges have been upgraded and high-end 12Mbps products have been introduced.

However, he explained that moving to 12Mbps can only be done as a manual process and this is proving to be time-consuming.

He added that while upgrading to 3Mbps and 7.5Mbps can be done as an automatic IT upgrade, this cannot proceed until all 12Mbps manual upgrades have occurred.

“The upgrades had been scheduled to be complete at the end of June but that has been delayed. Testing of the various exchanges is due to begin on 17 July and that will run over two weekends. There are issues with some exchanges but the vast majority of the exchanges will be upgraded in the next four weeks.

“There is no stoppage of work other than the fact that the upgrades are time-consuming and require manual upgrading. Our move to 12Mbps is a competitive response to the market. We will have most of the software upgrades completed in the next six weeks.

“The reason why we held off communicating this to customers is there’s no point starting to sell new products until everybody is upgraded,” the spokesman said.

He said the company is anticipating the upgrade will be complete by early August.

By John Kennedy

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