herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Possible price rise for rural broadband users

communications

Basic broadband prices in rural parts of Ireland could rise under new rules being considered by the telecoms regulator.

The Commission for Communications Regulation (Comreg) has found that urban broadband customers are subsidising rural users and that Eircom may apply to the regulator to raise its rural broadband prices to recover rural costs.

The move, which Comreg says complies with European law, would affect all operators seeking to re-sell broadband services on Eircom landlines. The price of such broadband services is strictly regulated by Comreg. However, the watchdog has ruled that rural internet users are not paying the full cost of broadband provision.

"Eircom appears to be under-recovering its costs," said the Comreg ruling. "There is a cross-subsidy from urban areas into areas outside. If there were evidence of such an under-recovery, Eircom may be allowed to charge correspondingly higher prices outside urban areas, subject to the proposed notification and approval procedures."

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