Huge broadband price rises imminent
IrelandOffline has recently been examining documents emanating from Comreg and have spotted a worrying trend and the certain likelihood of large price increases for ALL users and not just rural users.
Much has been made in the media of a probable “price hike” for rural broadband users, the spin helpfully put on this is that urban dwellers are subsidising rural users leading to the conclusion that eircom may be allowed to charge correspondingly higher prices outside of urban areas(1). This is a very worrying development as consumers with bad and rotten connections will now have the privilege of paying more for these terrible connections.
It seems to us that Comreg is intent on dismantling the USO (universal service obligation) obligations of eircom, if so then they should come right out and just say so.
However with the same elusive and impenetrable style the document hides how eircom will increase prices for urban dwellers too, starting in December 2014.
From the document “As this SABB service is no longer supported by the SB-WLR service and its associated price (currently €18.02 Outside the LEA or €15.02 in the LEA), we consider that it is necessary to assess the relevant underlying cost contribution from the access network for this service”(2)
Translating this gibberish into English we see that eircom will likely be removing the so called subsidy for urban dwellers. As this is a wholesale charge the actual increase for consumers may be much higher, perhaps even as high as €10 per month.
So, all told, it seems that huge price rises are on the way for ALL users of broadband throughout the country including urban users, we do have to ask has this anything to do with yet another an imminent IPO/trade sale by eircom
LEA = Larger Exchange areas (urban areas)
SABB = standalone broadband
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