Eircom today announced plans to introduce a new mass market low-cost broadband DSL service from March.
The new low-cost product will operate at speeds up to 512Kbps (kilobits per second) and would be available in self-install and Eircom-install versions.
Eircom said it would introduce the new product at a target retail price of €54.45 including Vat (€45 per month excluding Vat), subject to regulatory approval. Eircom said it was also finalising pricing of the wholesale bit-stream equivalent.
“Consultation will now take place with the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) and the industry to introduce the new low-cost product at the earliest possible date, with a target of March 2003 at the latest,” a company statement read.
In April 2002, Eircom launched its €125m rollout of broadband DSL. To date a total of 700,000 telephone lines have been DSL-enabled and this figure will increase to one million by December 2003.
Commenting on the announcement, Phil Nolan (pictured), chief executive, Eircom, said: “Today’s development, coupled with our significant investment in deployment of DSL technology will provide a major impetus to broadband in Ireland. Our new self-install product is competitively priced and compares very favourably with countries throughout the EU. We recognise the importance of broadband to the Irish economy … Our rollout plan will extend to one million lines nationwide by the end of this year and will include all of the towns included in the Government’s national spatial strategy. We will deliver a wholesale offering to competing telecommunications operators, including our own retail business, to provide the new self-install DSL service to their customers.”
Eircom’s DSL rollout currently extends to 70 telephone exchanges and this will increase to approximately 110 exchanges by December 2003.
This will equate to one million telephone lines covering the greater Dublin commuter area, provincial cities and large provincial towns.
It will also cover all towns included in the Government’s national spatial strategy. By September 2004 the rollout will extend to approximately 150 exchanges covering towns throughout Ireland with more than 2,000 telephone lines.
By Brian Skelly