Eircom extends time-based broadband to SMEs

23 Jun 2005

Eircom said this afternoon it is expanding its range of business broadband products to include a time-based product aimed specifically at SME internet users.

The product will be available at a special promotional price of €16.52 (ex Vat) and includes 20 hours of broadband access per month. After the 20-hour allowance is up users would be charged 3.3 cent per minute for additional usage. The service will be available from 7 July.

Eircom said it is also introducing a new promotional price for its always-on standard 2Mbps, cutting it by €10 to €35 a month. Eircom said this results in a 25pc saving on monthly rental for broadband.

Andrew Fordham, Eircom’s head of business marketing, said more than 34,000 companies have signed up for broadband so far. “But our research has indicated that small businesses and enterprises want greater flexibility and a wider choice of broadband products.

“Eircom now has four different business broadband products, giving customers a range of solutions to fit their requirements. Eircom’s Broadband Time product is aimed at businesses that only occasionally use the internet, but who have yet to experience broadband. In addition, Eircom’s latest promotion offers close to 25pc savings on monthly rental for first-time customers.”

However, various groups last week attacked Eircom’s time-based service offering for the residential market, arguing it was a return to the era of dial-up when users were constantly watching the clock.

IrelandOffline argued Eircom was effectively turning back the clock, so to speak, insofar as it resembled the dial-up regime prior to the introduction of FRIACO (fixed dial-up charges). “To charge €20 for 20 hours and then include a €2.40 an hour penalty for staying online and enjoying the benefits of broadband is scandalous. Eircom is introducing entirely artificial pricing mechanisms with this product,” stated committee member Aidan Whyte.

By John Kennedy