Eircom must help other operators, says ComReg

5 Mar 2004

ComReg has proposed that Eircom be designated as having ‘significant market power’ as a wholesale DSL provider and therefore must be obliged to maintain its existing access obligations for other operators wishing to provide DSL services as well as potentially other ‘reasonable’ requests for access to its network.

ComReg this afternoon published its market analysis of wholesale boradband access in Ireland and proposed that Eircom should be designated as having Significant Market Power (SMP) in that particular market.

In a statement, the regulatory agency said: “ComReg does not foresee any technological or market developments to suggest that the SMP enjoyed by Eircom will be diluted in any meaningful way in the absence of appropriate and proportionate regulatory intervention.

“ComReg is proposing to maintain the existing access obligations for other operators wishing to provide DSL services and is consulting on whether Eircom should be obliged to consider other reasonable requests for access to its network”, the agency stated.

In related news, Perlico Communications Ltd revealed DSL services that will compete directly with Eircom under the brand name Perlico Broadband. At €38.95 per month for residential users and €45 per month for an unlimited number of users on a business network, Perlico will also provide an 8Gb download allowance, which is double Eircom’s current offering.

Commenting on the product launch, Iain MacDonald, the managing director of Perlico Communications said: “This is good news for Irish business and home Internet users. Perlico’s broadband service provides the best value in the market with customers benefiting from better service, lower prices and our easy to understand pricing structure.”

MacDonald continued: “Unrealistically high wholesale prices for broadband have frightened away other providers. Although this issue remains a significant obstacle to viable competition, we have decided to launch Perlico Broadband as a reflection of our commitment to the Irish marketplace. We will continue to lobby ComReg and others with a view to securing reasonable wholesale DSL prices so as to be able to continue our investment and pass on price reductions to our customers.”

By John Kennedy