I know most here won't share my opinion but .... I think UPC is the new Eircom. Look at the evidence; a near monopoly in many areas, sky high prices, they're the "price setters" in the market ie. everyone is matching or trying to beat their price, blanket advertising to stimulate demand. Also UPC, just like Eircom, charge a high price for basic service ie. for basic cable and phone, similar to Eircom charging for basic line rental.
Yet despite the high prices (from €60 a month), everyone is desperate to hand over their readies to UPC. Just like years ago, when Eircom was a monopoly and charged a high price for line rental and calls, there were still waiting lists for phone lines.
Another sign UPC is like the old Eircom is the creeping imposition of "installation" and "activation" fees. Eircom don't charge these anymore, they have continuous promos to offset them. But Eircom used to fleece people with these fees, just like UPC do today.
Something I'd like to point out is that if you go for one of UPCs "limited" bundles, you get a wonderfully fast 50Mb connection and a 10GB download allowance per month. To demonstrate how utterly useless this is:
50Mb per second means you get a maximum peak download of 6.25MB per second.
At the maximum peak download, it would take you a little under 27 minutes to download 10GB of data and hit your limit.
It could be argued that you won't ever reach that peak, but with online digital distribution services, you often get pretty damn close.
And considering how popular digital distribution is, this 10GB cap becomes even more crazy. Let's say that I want to purchase the relatively recent game BioShock Infinite. It's a 17.3GB download. hmm...
Of course not everyone will be downloading huge games like this, but considering the popularity of video streaming services like youtube and netflix (both of which offer HD video), it wouldn't take that long for even a single person to chew through 10GB, nevermind a family.
And if you go over the limit, the first time this happens you get a warning (fair enough), the second time you get automatically upgraded to a more expensive bundle.
At present there are 2 "limited" bundles and they cost €59 and €66 per month, which is quite a lot of money for such a severely limited broadband connection. If they want to create an affordable limited bundle, the correct thing to do would be to couple a limited download speed with a more reasonable limited download allowance.
Currently the "limited" bundles seem specifically designed to lure in those who don't know that much about the tech jargon then auto-upgrading them to a more expensive bundle.
Now don't get me wrong, I love the fact that I can get these crazy fast connections from UPC, but there's absolutely no point whatsoever in having them if they get crippled with such ridiculous data allowances.
Eircom has over twice as many broadband subscribers than UPC, and Sky has more TV subscribers at 393,000 than UPC!
Very true, compare their prices to their sister company in the Netherlands (if you use Chrome as your browser it should translate to English immediately).
Let's not forget the administration charges for changing your channels package! They might give you skysports "free" for three months even if you don't want it. But then they charge you €15 to take it off your package at the end of the "free" 3 months. So they've managed to take €15 more off you than you were originally prepared to give them.
To be fair that's nonsense.
ye do realise the bt's network is actually leased off eircom wholesale right?
eircom is two seperate entities
eircom wholesale = those that own all the dsl/fibre lines, cabinets, and exchanges
eircom retail = a service provider that leases eircom wholesale dsl/fibre lines like all the others.
eircom retail has to deal with the same ****ty knn fibre engineers as does magnet or vodafone or bt
eircom wholesale has contracted knn not eircom retail to do fibre upgrades/installs.
I'm not sure how this is, but I'm on a 150Mb unlimited package for €52 a month including the cost of phone which I took to avoid the standalone charge (plus I recently got a free upgrade to 150, and am a long time out of contract).
Monopoly ? UPC's ONLY available in large towns or cities... I can only dream of getting UPC - be more than happy to pay for them, over the current €45 a month I'm currently paying for a joke of a wireless connection.
Actually it's true.They do charge admin fees.
Oracle I have to disagree with you.
In the past we only had Eircom, which meant relatively very slow broadband at a very high price.
Then UPC arrived on the scene and you could get ridiculously fast broadband at a reasonable but not necessarily "cheap" price.
So UPC was a massive improvement in the market, finally you had really good, fast, high quality broadband at a reasonable price.
You are however correct, UPC has never really done truly cheap broadband, but in fairness, that isn't really their focus.
UPC's presence in the market has now forced Eircom to finally invest in their network, introducing VDSL to try and compete with UPC.
This has allowed probably the best "cheap" deal to be introduced, Vodafones 70mb package at €32.
However I do agree with you partly, I believe with this cheap "good enough" package from Vodafone, with Sky likely to soon launch "cheap" VDSL products and with Eircom likely to soon launch their own IPTV service to compete with UPC's TV service, I do feel competition is going to heat up on UPC.
I believe UPC will need to eventually respond by doing the following in order to remain competitive:
- Increasing the entry level speed to 100mb
- Increasing the upload speed on all packages to minimum 20mb
- Dropping prices slightly
This is all great news for the consumer, we have two strong networks competing with one another, driving down prices and improving services. Long may it last.
They do for downgrades, however i was replying to a statement that if you get free sports for 2 or 3 months that you pay a fee to remove. I've had sky sports/movies for free and half price a good few times and once its on promotion you don't get charged to remove it. I'm on free setanta/bt at the moment and there'll be no fee to take it off.
Downgrade fee is also €10 and not €15 as stated
An awful lot of eircom customers have ngb basic or 1mb with 10gb limit. My mother for example. Only time she'd stream video is rte player and that'd be on on-demand anyway so wouldn't affect usage. There's def a market for it. To UPCs credit they don't really advertise it in the ads. Compare with sky's 2gb limit which is widely advertised as the starting point.
Well just get an unlimited bundle then!