Irish telecoms operators take new legal aim at Eir over customer lines
At least four Irish telecoms companies are considering legal action against Eir over a dispute involving the amount of time it takes for phone and broadband users to get connected or have lines fixed.
The row, which now involves the telecoms regulator, centres on broadband services supplied by companies like Vodafone and Sky which are based on Eir landlines.
Eir's rivals say that its interaction with them is increasingly poor, leading to difficulties with their own customers. They claim that 'service level agreements' are weak compared to other European countries and that they are missing out on business because of it.
They also claim that the Irish regulator is dragging its heels on the issue, with Comreg's proposed review of Eir's operations taking too long to fall into place.
"We're very unhappy with the state of progress," said one executive. "We're considering legal action [against Eir] under competition law auspices."
On Monday, the chief executives of Vodafone, BT and Sky held summit talks with the telecoms regulator over the issue.
Comreg has said that some of Eir's interaction with rivals has given it "cause for concern".
"We are concerned more generally at the long lead times experienced by alternative operators in certain cases where they have requested new or amended regulated wholesale products from Eir," said the watchdog.
A spokesman for Eir said the issue was currently being mediated on.
"We welcome Comreg's review of the wholesale governance model and look forward to fully participating in that process according to the timelines and terms of reference they set out," he said.