Eircom will cut wholesale broadband prices to alternative operators from €27 to €23, the company revealed today. According the incumbent player, its decision to introduce a low cost 512k broadband product at €39.99 per month will make it the cheapest out of 14 countries for this type of product.
In a statement this morning, Eircom said that it will submit proposals to ComReg for the introduction of new wholesale broadband products, which in turn will underpin the new retail prices it plans to introduce.
The moves follow more than two years of bitter wrangling between Eircom, ComReg and alternative operators such as Esat BT over the high wholesale rates charged by Eircom, which Esat BT and other regarded as severely anti-competitive. While the plans to reduce the rate to €23 is some improvement, it is still higher than the circa-€15 rate proposed a year and a half ago by former ComReg chairperson Etain Doyle.
The commercial director of Eircom, David McRedmond commented: “This is about Eircom continuing to lead the drive for broadband take up in Ireland. The demand for broadband trebled when we reduced prices last year and demand trebled again when we introduced our promotion in October of last year.
“We set a target of 100,000 broadband users by the end of 2004 and with approximately 34,000 broadband customers in Ireland today, we are well on the way to achieving this. With the introduction of this new broadband price, coupled with our plan to roll-out broadband to every town in Ireland by March 2005, the country is set to reach the average EU penetration for broadband which is at 6-7pc by the end of this year.”
Cathal Magee, managing director, Eircom Retail, added: “Based on these wholesale prices Eircom Retail will be able to launch a product at €39.99 and we will be announcing plans soon for a range of new retail products to maintain Eircom Retail’s leadership in broadband.”
By John Kennedy