Esat BT has unveiled a new consumer broadband offering that includes free installation, free use of a modem, free rental for the first month and an 8GB data allowance per month, as well as a monthly rental fee of less than €50.
The news comes within days of incumbent telecoms operator Eircom revealing plans to offer broadband with free connection, free modem and one month’s free rental for those that sign up for a year. The incumbent market player claims that there are now 850,000 telephone lines in Ireland that are broadband enabled.
Earlier this week, the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Dermot Ahern, telling the Global Leaders Forum in Rome that in clear conditions of market failure or sluggish market responsiveness it is perfectly legitimate for Government to intervene. Ahern said he aims to boost Irish broadband access by establishing cheaper access points near phone exchanges that would end a perceived stranglehold on the market exerted by Eircom.
Esat BT’s consumer broadband offering is called IOL Broadband and is available for a monthly rental fee of €49.49, which the company claims gives consumers a 9pc saving over Eircom’s broadband offering at €54.45.
The company says that the monthly data allowance for IOL Broadband has jumped to 8GB, which would allow consumers to download approximately 2,600 MP3 songs per month or watch 1,600 movie trailers per month. This compares with Eircom’s broadband product, which Esat BT says offers consumers 4GB allowance per month and charges customers 3.6 cents (inc. Vat) per MB when over the limit.
Esat BT’s CEO Bill Murphy commented: “In order to bring Ireland online Esat BT has fought hard for a reduction in wholesale connection fees in a bid to drive broadband uptake in this country and push for a digital Ireland. Esat BT and Ireland On-Line have always lead the market in responding to consumers demands for lower prices and better value services. Our latest initiative proves once again that Esat BT and Ireland On-Line are the first to market with innovative solutions to help stimulate broadband demand in Ireland.”
The company said that the new offering is available immediately and will apply to all applications received between now and 31 December. The increased data allowance of 8GB will come into effect on 1st October. All existing IOL Broadband customers will also have their monthly allowances boosted to 8GB.
By John Kennedy