Hello Pierre Danon, Goodbye Philip Nolan

A few journalists contacted me today asking me had I anything to say about eircom CEO Phil Nolan. It was Dr. Phil’s last day. He was on Morning Ireland this morning where he stated:

Eircom had the market in controversy well cornered by the time I got here I think.

Very true Phil but you actually stoked up the flames of that ongoing fire even more.

Phil also added:

So I think, you know, broadband is set well. By international standards in terms of supply we have eighty-five percent of lines in enabled exchanges, that’s on a par with Europe, it’s better than the US, and demand is accelerating and it’s all about demand now to get take-up and I think the industry and the department are getting behind that.

A statement which regulars of this blog will know is bullshit. 2nd last in the EU Phil. Same as it ever was. With the millions you personally made from eircom, here’s what you’ve actually left to the consumers of Ireland: The highest line rental, probably on this planet but certainly in Europe. 8 euros above the European average, an average which eircom have made quite high just from Ireland alone. Yet line rental is about to go up again. The Minister and the telecoms poodle are not going to stop it. They have no balls or really any right as they made a system that prevents them from stopping it. You’ve left the eircom network in such a state of disrepair that when it rains some people can’t even get voice calls. eircom’s last filings with the SEC showed that. 400M depreciation a year and 200M reinvestment. There are TDs and Senators that can’t get broadband on their lines. One of them is in the heart of the Capital. Not far from the Dáil. But this isn’t all your own fault. There was a policy of taking a phoneline and splitting it between homes or businesses to save on copper. All grand and well for low quality voice but it screws anyone who wants dialup and DSL. Instead of stopping this as the Internet took off it still happened. According to your own figures you gave the Oireachtas (yeah I managed to get them) it will cost €200M to fix all these split lines. It probably would have cost less 5 years ago. Until these are fixed it’s tough shit for all those failing line tests today.

Now thanks to you and the telecoms poodle, things like local loop unbundling are still a running joke in Ireland. Up until last week you couldn’t keep your number if you wanted to move to Smart or Magnet. Christ on a bike! So yeah Phil, thanks for grudgingly bringing out broadband, thanks for the 2nd highest landline bills in the EU, thanks for a phone network in bits and this comes from the head of the company that bought it and then thanks for the statement that people just don’t want broadband in this country. Great legacy. Enjoy the Irish Management Institute.

Pierre Danon is a different man to Phil and has a different style. Hi Pierre! Pierre reads blogs don’t ya know. Or he has people to do so. All the same, the guy is sharp. He knows his stuff. He knows his tech, he knows his finance and he knows people. Before he was ever officially put in the eircom throne he was meeting with consumer groups such as IrelandOffline, interest groups, the various telcos, groups like the Irish Internet Association, he met our telecoms poodle, the DCMNR and the Government. He genuinely asked for viewpoints and inputs and followed them up later by email or phonecalls from his people.

Pierre now has a shitty network, as his Aussie boss noted, he has a company with a debt of 4 billion (that’s €1000 for every man woman and childeen in the country), he has a plummeting amount of revenue from landline calls and he has a union with a considerable amount of shares in the company. How are you going to do it Pierre? We’d love to know. You’re pretty much in the position Phil was in 5 years ago so we’d love to know how you’re going to work this.

Pierre’s first big test and the biggest challenge for the PR Department will be the line rental increase. It’s either that or getting a big wad of cash from the Government. Money doesn’t grow on phone polls. There’s bound to be backlash. But us Irish will accept the situation and moan a little. I want to retire from IrelandOffline as soon as possible but I can’t see me walking away when there’s so much to be done. I had once written in a newspaper article that Isolde Goggin, Noel Dempsey and Phil Nolan are the only people who could turn Ireland into a broadband paradise. I think it’s down to the whim of one person now. It should never have come to that.

10 Responses to “Hello Pierre Danon, Goodbye Philip Nolan”

  1. Pat Phelan says:

    first step, line rental increases
    second step, split the company in three
    third, step, spin off meteor
    fourth, step spin off fixed
    fifth, start eircom mobile

    Thats what my magic looking glass says
    nice post Damien

  2. Twenty Major says:

    Didn’t they do that years ago though?

  3. Mr T. says:

    I think your giving poodles a bad name.

  4. Jack M says:

    Pat, your forgetting a few things:

    1. ESOT
    2. ESOT
    3. ESOT
    4. ComReg

    Did I mention ESOT?

  5. Mise says:

    ‘You’ve left the eircom network in such a state of disrepair that when it rains some people can’t even get voice calls.’

    Absolutely…every night at 9:00 or thereabouts I lose telephone and broadband for an hour …D’ya think anyone can figure it out? BT, whom I moved to for cheaper calls, say it’s the line and blame Eircom. And Eircom..well, you know the rest…

    There was a policy of taking a phoneline and splitting it between homes or businesses to save on copper.’

    It took me six months to get an Eircom engineer (off the record) to admit that my failed broadband test was because of my substandard carrier line, which they somehow managed to fix…but my neighbour is still screwed and now has a dodgy wireless link instead.

  6. laura says:

    Oh, I love ericom now. They are our friends. They only took eight months to install a phone line. Amazingly, it works. Is it broadband enabled? Apparently it is.

    Eircom’s broadband prices are incredibly steep though. €29.99 for 1MB? I particularly love their concept of “time” broadband. Only eircom could come up with metering!

    We went to NTL for broadband, tired of waiting for eircom to give us a line. After major problems initially, it now works most of the time.

  7. Henry Barth says:

    Eircom is a third world joke. I’ve seen better telephone service in Brazil and Argentina,

    Try getting broadband service if you live in the Northwest. Eircom has told me they have no intention of providing more than what they do now. Shite service over antiquated copper wire.

    I gave up and finally went to satellite at €84 a month plus installation plus equipment.

    And that is outrageous.

    Consider than one man in Oregon, at a cost of $ 5 million, provided state-wide free WiFi.


    If someone in Ireland wanted to give free WiFi to the nation, he/she would be prosecuted.

    Ireland is 1/35th the size of Oregon.

    The ESB could give broadband through existing electrical wires to every household in Ireland. It is a simple and safe interface. I understand there is a trial going on now in Donegal. But I don’t think we’ll ever e it as long as Eircom and others are around.

    Incidentally, in the US you can get broadband for ten euro a month. What’s the problem here?

  8. Obi 1 says:

    Pierre has lost his way since leaving BT where it’s easy to make a name for yourself. Don’t expect any major changes and don’t get excited about any quick cures. He needs a job! – Oh and look out for communication regarding franchises!!

  9. Gordon Brown says:

    I have been told I cannot get broadband even though a neighbour 2 doors up has it (I live in the Galway countryside).I have a carrier line and a new line will cost me 125 euro but eircom will not guarantee I can then get broadband.
    I live 2 MILES outside Gort and NO broadband is available of any kind.My neighbour told me she had to go to the top of eircom and it took years to get her broadband line.
    Recently the phone lines were not working and I had no dial up connection and it took TEN DAYS to fix the problem.
    A friend of mine works for eircom in Dublin and he says half of them do an hour or two a day and some drive taxis while they are supposed to be working for the company.
    The problem with eircom is that it still has the mentality of the P & T and its like as if its still the 80’s.
    They really do stink.

  10. Diane Hyde says:

    I too have a split line and was advised by the 7th person I spoke to that day at the eircom help desk that I could buy a new line to which I replied “I bought a new line when I moved into the house 7yrs ago”. Eircom split it and now keep repeating to me that I should read the terms and conditions which state that infact all I am entitled to is a voice line. I had to laugh as they said that if I bought the new line and signed a contract that the line may still even then remain split.
    Hello….why would anyone pay to remain the same – they beggar belief.
    The trees are too tall around my house for wireless, cant get it on the phone line and the mobile broadband cuts out every few minutes. The dishes would set me back about €500 and a hefty monthly bill also. All my neighbours have broadband on their full strength lines and the neighbour that my line is split with has wireless (no trees). I cant even pick up their signals – have tried with their permission!

    Any suggestions?