Irish broadband costs are the highest in the EU

18 Feb 2011

Ireland has the most expensive broadband packages in all of Europe, the European Broadband Tariffs Database has revealed.

Leading consumer advocacy group IrelandOffline today received The European Broadband Tariffs Database. IrelandOffline said it shows “Ireland’s average tariffs for the 2Mb-8Mb speed band were the highest among EU member states in Q4 2010. The main reason was the high price for bandwidth. Most broadband packages in Ireland are capped and average around €33.8 per month, uncapped offers for the 2Mb-8Mb band typically cost more than double the EU average of €34.1.”

According to the advocacy group, the database, which is produced by Quantum Web, revealed the most common broadband offering is Eircom Bitstream, which is priced at a national rate. It is also only offered to other carriers in Dublin. The advocacy group said that “included in this price we pay a handsome premium to Eircom for the national transit journey even though most of their competitors can carry the data to Dublin on their own networks.”

IrelandOffline urged “the incoming Government to engage with the stakeholders, including representatives of consumer groups, to ensure that broadband provision and pricing is fit for purpose across the state.”

The group also reveal that from 11 March 2011, Eircom plans to charge a minimum of 9.5c per call for out of bundle calls, eg, to mobiles. The overall consequences of these tariffs will mean that by October 2011, Ireland will have the most expensive line rental in the world, the most expensive broadband in Europe and the highest minimum call charges in Europe, both day and night.

IrelandOffline claimed the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) does not help the issue, by hiding the minimum call charges by using three-minute rolling averages in its own statistics. The group said that, “were they to show one-minute calls we would clearly have the highest call charges in Europe, as well.”

“This analysis demonstrates the complete and utter failure of successive ministers and of ComReg to promote effective and consumer-centred competition in the Irish marketplace,” said Eamonn Wallace of IrelandOffline.