Reference Library – England – Manchester Broadband

Fresh row blazes over cost of lighting up Ireland’s rural fibre network

Eir responds to telcos’ threat to boycott its rural FTTH network. Ireland’s incumbent telecoms operator Eir has defended charges it places on other licensed operators accessing its rural fibre network, comparing it as significantly less than the cost of accessing corresponding electricity infrastructure. Members of the Alternative Licensed Telecoms Operators (ALTO) group Vodafone, Sky and BT are engaged in a row with Eir over cost of rural broadband connections and are threatening to boycott Eir’s network in parts of rural Ireland.

‘Eir is the only operator investing in rural Ireland, spending EUR200m to provide fibre to the home to 300,000 homes and businesses’

The operators are up in arms over the EUR270 Eir’s wholesale arm Open Eir charges to connect broadband customers if they are located more than 50 metres from Eir’s network. Readers will also recall how a recent Government memo1 signalled that costs of accessing broadband in rural Ireland as part of the National Broadband could be 60pc higher than envisaged based on regulated prices agreed with ComReg. That memo, which emerged as part of a response to a Freedom of Information (FOI)2 request (which is mysteriously no longer online), indicated that at cost price such access would have been 10pc to 15pc higher than envisaged.

The FOI request sought more information about Eir’s deal with the Irish Government in April3 to connect 300,000 homes in rural Ireland to fibre as part of a EUR200m investment, reducing the intervention area of the National Broadband Plan from 840,000 down to 540,000. To access the remaining 540,000, winning bidders of the National Broadband Plan would still have to transmit over Eir’s network.

Row over FTTH is start of a bigger debate about infrastructure access

The nexus of the argument is ultimately down to infrastructure in general and how much utility operators from electricity to telecom, roads and gas charge to access one another’s infrastructure. Sources indicate that while Eir charges EUR270 to access fibre, the cost of accessing electricity infrastructure on a similar basis can run to thousands of euros.

In a statement Eir defended the charge: “Providing best in class technologies such as fibre to the home carries significantly higher costs in rural locations than in urban and suburban locations. In fact, in many cases the actual cost of providing an FTTH connection in rural Ireland is higher than the regulated price we charge.

“In order to compare the connection charges for fibre to home, the comparison must accurately reflect the geographical differences where these services are offered. It is not a like for like comparison between Eir’s commercial fibre to the home rollout in rural Ireland with SIRO’s rollout to suburban towns in Ireland, or with BT’s urban FTTH rollout in the UK.”

Eir said that the cost of connections charges to deliver electricity or gas services in rural environments is significantly higher than the connection charge for the delivery of fibre to the home.

“Eir is the only operator investing in rural Ireland, spending EUR200m to provide fibre to the home to 300,000 homes and businesses that previously had minimal or no broadband availability. Close to one third of the 300,000 homes and businesses can already order best in class broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps.

“We operate the largest open access wholesale network in Ireland, providing more than 40 operators with an unrivalled footprint of homes and businesses throughout Ireland. Operators including ALTO members sell a range of products and bundles directly to end users.

“Our wholesale prices are all regulated and the wholesale prices we charge for fibre to the home including the connection charges were approved by the regulator less than 12 months ago.

Operators such as SIRO do not have regulated pricing,” Eir said.


  1. ^ a recent Government memo (
  2. ^ Freedom of Information (FOI) (
  3. ^ Eir’s deal with the Irish Government in April (

Is Airtel’s bonus broadband offer good enough to take on Reliance JioFiber?

Upon subscription to one of the select plans under the Big Bytes Offer, and after 7 days following the date of activation of their new connection, the user will be able to enjoy additional data under Big Byte offer, over and above the base plan chosen by them. The company adds that the unused data will be carried over each month till March 31, 2018, or the GBs getting over whichever is first. The company also stated that the offer will be “valid only for online purchase”. The cheapest plan starts at Rs 899 for which you will get 60 GB of data per month and extra 500 GB data for the year. As per the terms and conditions of the company, the big byte offer is available to all those customers who avail company’s services on or after June 12, 2017.

Along with data, Airtel1 is providing unlimited voice calls for both Local and STD on all networks from any region. New customers looking to get this offer need to visit “” and select base plan, enter mobile number and address to raise request for new broadband connection.

Can Marvel’s Inhumans Be Saved?3
At the 2017 summer TV Critics’ Association press tour, ABC President Channing Dungey spoke about the future of Marvel at ABC.

European Central Bank deny South Africa approach for Gibson4
Despite the absence of an official approach, England appeared to concede they are expecting one at the end of the current series. The first two hours we could have lost more than one wicket but it showed guts, skill and some luck to go into lunch one down.

Physicians Realty Trust (DOC) Downgraded by Jefferies Group LLC to Underperform5
The stock of Healthcare Realty Trust Inc (NYSE:HR) has “Buy” rating given on Thursday, August 3 by BMO Capital Markets. State Treasurer State of MI raised its position in shares of Healthcare Realty Trust by 1.3% in the first quarter.

Jio is speculated to launch a 100Mbps plan offering 100GB for free. As per Airtel website, the plan offers speed up to 40 Mbps. The completion among telecom operators is benefiting the consumers and they are enjoying the schemes at minimal charges.

Reliance Jio6 is also expected to come up with its broadband services, called JioFiber7. Beyond 1,000 minutes of calls, users will be charged Rs.

0.10 per minute for Airtel to Airtel calls and Rs.

0.30 per minute for calls to other networks.

After taking repeated hits from the new rival Jio, Airtel has made a decision to hit back at the telecommunication company by swaying the customers with their all new “399 Plan”.

The move is reportedly aimed at taking on its rival Reliance Jio which has made competition tough in the telecom sector with its pocket-friendly offers.


  1. ^ Airtel (
  2. ^ broadband (
  3. ^ Can Marvel’s Inhumans Be Saved? (
  4. ^ European Central Bank deny South Africa approach for Gibson (
  5. ^ Physicians Realty Trust (DOC) Downgraded by Jefferies Group LLC to Underperform (
  6. ^ Reliance Jio (
  7. ^ JioFiber (

Northern Irish are nation of binge TV watchers, Ofcom report reveals

  • Northern Irish are nation of binge TV watchers, Ofcom report reveals

    Northern Ireland has become a country of binge TV viewers, research shows.

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Northern Ireland has become a country of binge TV viewers, research shows. Eight out of 10 adults have watched multiple episodes of their favourite shows in a single sitting, according to Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report, due to the growing popularity of streaming services like Netflix.

While live TV remains important, people are increasingly turning to catch-up and on-demand services. Jonathan Rose, Ofcom Northern Ireland director, said: “Technology has revolutionised the way we watch TV.

“The days of waiting a week for the next episode are gone, with people finding it hard to resist watching multiple episodes around the house or on the move.”

He said live TV still played a critical role as a provider of news. Despite the increasing popularity of websites and apps, it is still the most important source of news for people in Northern Ireland, Mr Rose added.

Services from the public service broadcasters are the most popular ways of watching on-demand and streaming programmes among adults in Northern Ireland: 65% use the BBC iPlayer and 44% use the ITV Hub. But, significant numbers use YouTube to watch programmes and films (27%), while 28% now use Netflix and 16% use Amazon video. The growing popularity of these services means watching multiple episodes back-to-back – or ‘binge watching’ – is now hugely popular, with 83% of people in Northern Ireland saying they have done this, and a third (32%) doing so every week.

Mr Rose said radio was a real stand out performer in this year’s report. Nine out of ten people in Northern Ireland tune in at least once a week and are listening for longer, “which is impressive when you consider the range of ways we now get our news and listen to music”. He said the public in Northern Ireland was also much more likely to listen to local BBC and commercial radio than listeners in other parts of the UK.

Some 60% of all listening in Northern Ireland is to these stations.

“Local news and programming is obviously highly valued by listeners.”

The report said Northern Ireland was increasingly interconnected, with the internet now available and accessed through TV as well as smartphones and tablets. Other findings included:

:: More than three-quarters of adults (76%) in Northern Ireland now own a smartphone, and nearly six in ten (58%) say their smartphone is their most important device for going online, compared to just over four in ten in the UK as a whole (42%).

:: Ofcom’s research also reveals a rise in tablet ownership, with three in five households (62%) now having one.

:: One-third (33%) of households in Northern Ireland now have a smart TV. That’s lower than the wider UK average but almost double what it was last year.

:: Four out of five homes (79%) have a fixed-line broadband connection.


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