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, thatâ€™s on a par with Europe, itâ€™s better than the US, and demand is accelerating and itâ€™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 DÃ¡il. 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.