UTV Internet has begun offering internet users who subscribe before the end of December free sign-up, one month’s free service and a free modem. The move closely resembles Eircom and Esat BT’s recent DSL announcements. UTV Internet claims that at €47.50 per month, its ClickSilver DSL offering is still the cheapest in the land, compared with Esat BT at €49.99 and Eircom at €54.45.
In addition, UTV Internet claimed that in the past 10 weeks it has signed up more than 4,000 new customers for its UTVip XL (180 hours anytime) and UTVip Lite (30 hours anytime) flat-rate internet services and is now offering new customers who sign up before the end of December a month’s free service on either product.
However, its first DSL offering ClickSilver has, admittedly, been slower to take off despite the fact that last week, Eircom claimed that there are now 850,000 telephone lines in Ireland that are DSL ready.
In figures released last week, UTV Internet said its internet revenues jumped by 70pc to £1.6m sterling, with the company saying there had been a strong response in the Republic to its flat-rate products. The company said that profits more than trebled to £500k sterling.
Taunton commented: “As we anticipated, our broadband service Clicksilver has been slower to take off. Recent reports have shown that Ireland has one of the lowest penetrations of broadband use in Europe, which is probably due to the historically high charges involved in supplying the service. We are pleased to be able to offer even more competitive pricing on our Clicksilver product as a result of recent discount wholesale pricing. We are now offering new customers who sign up before the end of December 2003, free sign-up, one month’s free service and a free modem.
“However we believe broadband services will only develop in Ireland as the flat rate market matures. Our experience has shown that the first step in the evolution of internet use is the removal of the fear of telephony charges with products like UTVip Lite and UTVip XL. Then, customers will be attracted to faster services like UTV Clicksilver,” Taunton concluded.
By John Kennedy