UTV Internet clicks with broadband DSL service

11 Jun 2003

A new entrant into Ireland’s fledgling DSL market comes in the shape of UTV Internet, which is now offering Irish customers DSL (digital subscriber line) connectivity for €47.50.

According to UTV Internet’s operations manager Malcolm Thompson, the service will be based on its DSL offering in Northern Ireland, entitled ClickSilver, and will be deployed using Eircom’s wholesale service, otherwise known as bitstream DSL access.

“Our proposal includes a once-off installation fee of €99, which includes a modem and two filters and users can self-install the product. After that the user pays €47.50 per month for DSL internet services,” Thompson told siliconrepublic.com.”Our offering is marginally lower than that of Esat BT and significantly cheaper than that of Eircom’s. It will be available all over Ireland wherever there are DSL-enabled exchanges,” Thompson explained.

The offering comes within months of UTV Internet signalling that it would be offering flat-rate internet access in the Republic of Ireland from later this month.

In terms of the current stand-off between Eircom and ComReg, Thompson declined to comment, but averred that a reduction in wholesale rates would be welcome. “Obviously any reduction in the wholesale cost would allow us to introduce lower costs. All we can do right now is make the most of what is on offer and try and introduce competitive packages”, he said.

According to Thompson, UTV Internet is currently take pre-registration signups for the service, but full registration will take place from Friday.

In terms of the company’s Northern Ireland experience with DSL, Thompson said: “More exchanges have been made available and the more accessible DSL services are the better a customer base we can harbour. Our prices in the North, at £32.50 sterling per month for the service the new offering in the Republic of Ireland compares reasonably well,” Thompson said.

The news comes amidst turbulent times for the DSL market, with a major legal impasse existing between Eircom and the Commission for Communications Regulation over Eircom’s allegedly exorbitant wholesale charges for licensed telcos, at basic rates of €27 per line.

By John Kennedy