Record of Eircom

 

Madam, - I was somewhat bemused to read Eircom company secretary James G. Ryan's letter (August 1st), defending, amongst other points, Eircom's decision to shift ownership of the company to the UK.

The more fanciful reading comes further into the letter, in which he boldly states that Eircom is the only telecommunications company in Ireland which is investing in the country's telecoms infrastructure. This is certainly not the case. Since BT acquired Esat three years ago, we have invested over €250 million in infrastructure, and this year alone, we will invest an additional €50 million. Perhaps it is worth reminding Mr Ryan of his own chief executive, Mr Phil Nolan's recent comments, in which he warned that Eircom may delay further investment in light of recent regulatory decisions.

Mr Ryan adds that over the past five years, Eircom has reduced its prices to consumers by over 40 per cent. He fails to mention that over the last five months, Eircom has twice hiked its monthly line rental to those same consumers, representing a dramatic 15 per cent price increase. This has netted the company a cool €50 million in additional revenues, with further increases on the cards if Eircom's High Court challenge to recent regulatory decisions is upheld.

As for the OECD survey referenced, well, for every one study pointing out a positive, there are two which highlight the damning state of affairs in Ireland's beleaguered telecoms market. -Yours, etc.,

UNA McGIRR, Director of Communications, Esat BT, Grand Canal Plaza, Dublin 4.