Battle over budget broadband

23 Sep 2003

Within days of Eircom unveiling its plans to provide consumers with free installation, free modem, free rental for the first month of a year-long contract and a 4GB data allowance, Esat BT unveiled its own competing consumer broadband offering. Esat BT’s offering 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.

Incumbent market player Eircom claims that there are now 850,000 telephone lines in Ireland that are broadband enabled. The new promotion starts on 6 October and ends on 6 January next year.

Eircom has said that it is also running a second promotion aimed specifically at small to medium-sized enterprises, which relates to its technician-installed broadband product. The deal includes €10 off the rental price for 12 months, which works out at €35 per month with a free modem, and a connection charge of €165 excluding Vat.

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 or watch 1,600 movie trailers per month. This the company compares with Eircom’s broadband product which it says offers consumers 4GB allowance per month and charges customers 3.6 cents (including Vat) per MB when over the limit.

Esat BT 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 1 October. All existing IOL Broadband customers will also have their monthly allowances boosted to 8GB.

By John Kennedy