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Saturday 20 September 2014

Storm damage has cost Eircom €2m in repairs

Adrian Weckler, Technology Editor

Published 07/02/2014 | 16:35

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Eircom Group Headquarters
Eircom Group Headquarters

The recent spate of storms has cost Eircom over €2m in network repairs and equipment replacement and could rise further with more storms forecast for this weekend.

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The operator has had to revise its operating expenditure costs upwards for the first part of 2014 partly because of the bad storms and partly because of higher energy costs. The storms have resulted in 10,000 faults to date, with a further 10,000 expected this weekend.

“Both broadband and telephone services are impacted,” said a spokesman for Eircom.

“The damage caused by the latest round of storms is mostly wind related and has resulted in significant damage to our overhead network particularly with falling trees taking down overhead telephone lines.”

Meanwhile, Meteor has signed up 20,000 4G customers since its launch, making up 2pc of its mobile customer base. The figure, divulged by Eircom after it released financial results this morning, indicate a modest uptake of the next-generation mobile technology.

Meteor said that its 4G services currently cover 40pc of the population, rising to 50pc by June of this year. It said that 30pc of its mobile phone sites have been upgraded to 4G speeds of ‘up to’ 42 megabits-per-second, while 74pc of the population can now access Meteor 3G services. It also said that 4G users use “twice as much” data as 3G users, even though 4G speeds are up to ten times faster than 3G speeds.

Meteor has 19 handsets capable of operating 4G services. It was the first mobile network to launch 4G and has marketed the service aggressively for the last three months.

Meanwhile, the operator now has 41,000 customers that purchase ‘bundled’ fixed line and mobile services. These customers, it said, yield the company €85 per month, twice the average revenue of ‘dual-play’ (phone and broadband) customers.

Meteor continues to see a fall in average revenue per user, dropping over 10pc in the last year. This matches an 11pc fall in average user revenue reported by Vodafone last week and an 11pc industry-wide decline in Ireland.

Separately, the operator has set itself a target of 125,000 fibre broadband customers by June of this year, when it promises to have 1m homes and businesses connected to fibre-based telecoms. The operator has also set itself a target of 24,000 TV customers, or a fifth of its fibre broadband customer base.

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