With the exception of groups like Irish Broadband, Clearwire, Digiweb and some of the regional providers, most of the consumer telecoms companies in this fair land resell eircom products. BT Ireland, UTV, Imagine, Perlico and all the rest are almost completely reliant on eircom. Even Digiweb use the resold version of eircom’s dsl product for their DSL offering. So while we see reports that eircom now only have 50% of the broadband market or some other “fact” like that, it really means that eircom retail has 50% of the reseller market. eircom wholesale still has 89% of the market or a figure around that mark. The same excuse is given when Noel Dempsey is questioned about the telecoms market. Lots of competition, hundreds of telecom companies. That’s like calling every tupperware salesdroid a kitchen utensil company. The press should know better than to swallow the usual telecoms poodle and DMCNR bullshit.
Imagine if we relied on just one food wholesale in this country? A wholesaler who really can do what they want and get away with it because the body regulating it doesn’t like to make a fuss. The regulator who has never fined a telco for any bad behaviour. We wouldn’t let them regulate our food supply I bet. The regulator who won’t take a complaint from a consumer until they’ve gone through the complaints process with their existing telecoms provider. By the time they’ve exhuasted themselves going through the complaints maze, they’re too pissed off and tired to then start the whole thing again with a regulator who doesn’t want to know.
I hear many complaints from telcos about eircom taking twice as long to connect a reseller’s customer to dsl as they do for their existing customers. You ring eircom and they can have you connected in 3 days to broadband, you ring a reseller and they have to ring eircom and they get told 2-3 weeks. The resellers have complained to ComReg and it seems ComReg don’t want to do anything. After that the telcos give up. They give up easily don’t they?
We really need a Ryanair type telco in Ireland. Someone not tied to the likes of TIF, someone not giving a fuck about the Minister, someone who doesn’t care about brown-nosing. The brash style of Michael O’Leary has got him a lot. Pissed off everyone but made him king nonetheless. I’d love to see full page advertisments taking the Minister to task and the Government to task about telecoms. Instead we have pussy-whipped telcos muttering in non-public places when they should be picking fights in public and getting consumers and the public behind them. Keep pushing for prices to lower but instead they are those ugly creatures at the bottom of the ocean, getting sufficiently fat on the shit that falls to the bottom when the eircom shark is finished devouring the market. There’s still a sufficient margin for them to make money so they don’t care about the crazy wholesale prices.
BT, UTV and Magnet have considerable resources and they don’t seem to be using them to change the game in Ireland. Shame on them. So guys, step forward and take some of the blame for the terrible state of the Irish telecoms market.