Tuesday 27 September 2016

Broadband price wars: Sky and eir launch new deals to lure customers

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Published 01/09/2016 | 15:03

Eir
Eir

COMPETITION in the broadband market has moved up a gear after telecoms giants Sky and Eir launched special deals.

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Price comparison site experts said the price-war moves would put pressure on other providers to reduce their prices.

Sky has slashed its broadband prices for a year for new customers, while Eir is offering €100 cash back for its triple-play plan.

New Sky customers are being offered a one year deal on fibre broadband, telephone calls and Sky TV Original for €55 a month.

This triple-play deal compares to the normal price of €84.50.

Over a year there would be a saving of €354, the company said.

For existing TV customers, Sky is offering a one-year deal on its fibre broadband and telephone calls for €35 a month.

This is a reduction of €20 a month. The telecoms giant says this will save €240 for a year on the normal price.

Director of products and customer growth at Sky Ireland Ann-Marie MacKay said its research shows almost a quarter of consumers in this country have never switched broadband provider.

She encouraged families to seek out better deals.

Eir has gone live with a cash-back offer on its triple-play plan, offering €100 cash up front.

The telecoms firm is offering a broadband and off-peak mobile bundle.

This offers unlimited 100Mb fibre broadband and unlimited off-peak national calls to landlines and mobiles.

It costs €52 for the first six months, and €62 per month after that.

This amounts to a cost of €684 over the course of the first 12 months, but those signing up get €50 cash back up-front.

In terms of triple-play, Eir Vision TV Essential and broadband offers 55 TV channels, unlimited 100Mb fibre broadband and unlimited anytime calls to Irish and UK landlines & mobiles.

This bundle costs €25 per month for the first six months, and €85 per month after that.

This means a first-year cost of €660.

And those signing up get €100 cash back up-front.

Eoin Clarke from price comparison site Switcher.ie said that we are now coming into the switching season. This means we are likely to see deals from providers in the telecoms market.

“Many companies offer discounts for four to six months, reverting to a higher price after that, so the fact that the discounted price will remain in place for Sky customers for a full 12 months is unique”

Mr Clarke that if customers are shopping around for a broadband deal, it is important for them to check out the monthly cost after the initial discount period, and to compare the year one cost across providers, to ensure they are comparing like-with-like.

Meanwhile, telecoms firms have criticised Eir for raising wholesale broadband prices for the second time in 14 months.

The company’s standard monthly fibre package for operators renting space on its network has been increased from €19.50 to €23, starting this month.

The hike comes on the back of a €2 increase in July last year, meaning prices have risen 31 per cent since last year.

Sky said it uses BT for as its wholesale broadband provider.

But umbrella group that represents non-Eir operators like Vodafone, Alto, signalled the price increase will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher broadband prices.

“These unjustified price increases, ultimately push prices up for everyone in a market where Eir is the monopoly provider of wholesale broadband,” the group said in a statement.

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