Up to now if you were with UTV or BT or Digiweb broadband and wanted to move to Smart or Magnet, you first had to cancel your service, move back to eircom and only then could Smart or Magnet place an order for LLU on your line. Well in a few minutes eircom will announce they have enabled a “seamless” transition process so people no longer need to do this.
We should have had this years ago and it is a statement that the new eircom are playing ball more than ComReg having any ability to force eircom to do this. This should have been around in 2001 and now we’re here six years later and it is only starting. Expect Smart and Magnet to start upping their game and trying to grab eircom, BT and UTV customers.
Still, there is a massive gap in LLU and that is mass-migration. This is why LLU works so well in the UK and this is why Carphone warehouse tore up the market last year. BT Ireland expecially are waiting on mass-migration so they can move all their customers who use the resold eircom product over to an LLU product. This process is not seamless and takes a bit of time still. eircom will probably never allow this to happen unless they get some kind of leaving tax from BT for every customer moved.
eircom’s point is that they enable an exchange, take the monetary risk in putting all the equipment in while BT and UTV just come along and resell without any risk, then if BT builds up say 400 customers in an exchange, they can put their equipment in and move their customers over, again with less risk. eircom are hardly going to make this easy for them and I very much doubt ComReg will. I’m sure today’s news will piss off BT as well since they’ll probably lose customers to Smart and Magnet.