Eircom price hike ‘to affect broadband take-up’

7 Aug 2007

Digiweb’s information website www.nolinerental.ie saw a 63pc increase in traffic over the past two weeks since Eircom confirmed a line rental increase from 1 August.

A survey on the website found that 77pc of respondents said an increase in line rental charges would deter them from getting broadband. Thousands of people participated in the survey since it was launched on the site in May.

Some 96pc of respondents were not prepared to pay for any increases in line rental charges, the survey found. More than a quarter were unaware that it was possible to receive broadband without a landline.

Commenting on these statistics, Emma O’Hare of Digiweb stated: “The increase in traffic to www.nolinerental.ie and the results from the interactive survey clearly highlight that there is a reluctance to pay additional line rental charges, especially as Irish customers are already paying the highest line rental in Europe.”

The move by Eircom to increase line rental has prompted the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) to impose a 12-month freeze on the charges Eircom can impose for line rental from September. When the price freeze lapses in October 2008, Eircom will only be able to seek a price increase in line with inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, for a further two years.

By Niall Byrne