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Eircom to double broadband speeds

Too little too late, says IrelandOffline

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Irish incumbent telco eircom is to double the entry-level speed for broadband in a move it claims will help boost demand for high speed net access.

The upgrade should be completed by 8 April increasing the entry-level speed from 512k to 1 Meg for wholesale and retail punters. Speed hungry residential and business punters should see their service speeds increase to between 2 Meg and 4 Meg.

eircom reckons yesterday's announcement underlines its "commitment to provide broadband for everyone in Ireland". In December it announced it had signed up 100,000 broadband punters and reckons this latest announcement "demonstrates eircom's approach of continuous improvement in broadband connectivity".

While the move has been welcomed by lobby group IrelandOffline it reckons it doesn't go far enough. Said the group's chairman Damien Mulley: "eircom completely failed to address the pricing issues, which means Ireland will continue to be one of the most expensive countries in the OECD for entry level broadband services, while continuing to fall behind in high speed access.

"This announcement would have been impressive if it was made two years ago, but instead we are now left playing catch-up once again."

Maintaining its criticism of the incumbent IrelandOffline used eircom's announcement to highlight the fact that one in five lines connected to an exchange is unable to support broadband. eircom's 20 per cent failure rate compares badly with the UK and Northern Ireland, it says, where the number of lines failing the test is less than one per cent.

Said IrelandOffline spokesman Aidan Whyte: "This announcement will ring hollow for the tens of thousands that are unable to take advantage of any ADSL service because eircom simply fail to maintain their network to basic international standards. In fact, this increase will further exacerbate the digital divide that plagues Ireland at the moment." ®

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