Tuesday 27 September 2016

Eircom rebrands in bid to steal a march in broadband race

Published 17/09/2015 | 02:30

Ian Dempsey with Mario Rosenstock impersonating Michael Flatley at the rebranding of Eircom in Dublin
Ian Dempsey with Mario Rosenstock impersonating Michael Flatley at the rebranding of Eircom in Dublin

Eircom's rebranding as Eir is an effort to change the public's view of the firm from a creaking landline company into a high speed rival to other fibre operators.

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Eir is currently embroiled in a fibre broadband arms race with rival operators.

The rebranded company has announced new 1,000 megabit ('gigabit') fibre broadband services to 23,000 homes outside Dublin for €67 per month including calls to landlines and mobiles.

The service, which is about 10 times faster than Eircom's current 'eFibre' landline broadband service, did not need a landline to work and was currently available in 12 counties around the country, the company said.

Eir is to roll this new fibre network out to 1.9 million homes and businesses across the country over the next three years.

The company also hopes to woo customers with its upgraded 'quad play' offerings of television, mobile, broadband and landline bundles.

The company formally known as Eircom spent €16m to change its name.

More than 100 marketing and advertising agencies were employed to drop three letters from the brand name and fashion a new squiggly logo.

The new name will not apply to the company's mobile operators, Meteor and eMobile, but will replace all other instances of 'Eircom' in corporate discourse.

Its biggest new competitor is Siro, the ESB and Vodafone joint venture that is building out a separate fibre broadband network over electricity lines.

Siro intends to start selling the service across 50 regional towns early next year in a move that will eventually see 500,000 Irish homes and businesses enter its catchment area.

UPC, soon to be renamed Virgin Media, is also expected to ramp up its broadband offering when it launches a new mobile operator in the coming weeks.

And the Government might also become a competitor to Eir if it awards a rural broadband contract to a rival operator, for the provision of fibre connectivity to 700,000 Irish homes and businesses in rural areas.

Eir's chief executive Richard Moat said that the company could eventually reach a point where it "retires" its landline network.

"Launching Ireland's fastest broadband underlines our continued ambition for Ireland and commitment to strategic investment," he said.

"No other operator in Ireland is investing as extensively in fibre broadband."

Irish Independent

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