Esat BT drives to undercut Eircom’s ADSL by 20pc

10 Apr 2003

Esat BT has launched a new high-speed ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) service that it claims undercuts rival telco Eircom’s offer by as much as 20pc.

IOL Broadband will provide Irish home internet users with always-on access at speeds up to 512Kbps (kilobits per second) for €49.49 (including Vat) with a once-off installation charge of €190 (including Vat), including a modem, from May this year.

The company claims the new package represents savings of up to 42pc on installation charges and more than 9pc on monthly rental charges compared to rival operators.

The IOL Broadband total set-up cost is €190, compared with €244.20 for Eircom’s self-install product and €344.85 for Eircom to install the service on-site. The price differences between the services are 22pc and 42pc, respectively.

IOL Broadband will be available to more than 700,000 phone lines throughout Ireland, rising to one million phone lines by December 2003.

Esat BT’s CEO, Bill Murphy, said the new package delivers on Esat BT’s commitment to deliver affordable broadband internet access to consumers. “IOL Broadband will enable users to really experience the power of the internet, availing of such services as music on demand, video and online gaming, secure in the knowledge that access costs are fixed and completely within their control,” he said.

However, despite the innovative pricing structure, Irish ADSL rates are still comparably higher than elsewhere in Europe. For example, the average ADSL package in the UK retails at €20 per month, with a zero installation cost.

In recent months Esat BT criticised Eircom over the hefty installation charge as well as maintaining that the basic monthly residential charges of €27 for wholesale DSL were still too high for Irish telecom operators seeking to derive revenues from offering the service.

By John Kennedy