European Union letter encourages reduction of broadband rates for Irish consumers

The European Commission has recommended as a matter of necessity that the Irish communications regulator should reduce rates for fixed-line telecommunications, which could in turn lead to a reduction of cost of broadband as well as other services for consumers.

ComReg, the Commission for Communications Regulation, was sent a letter by the European Commission recommending that the regulator “update relevant pricing decisions as soon as possible”. This was due to several complaints about a delay in changing the setting of wholesale rates that Eir, the biggest telecommunications company in Ireland, has been setting for wholesale rates.

The language used in the letter has been described as “unprecedented”, and other telecommunications companies in Ireland have been pleased with the swiftness and tone used by the Commission, as it has taken a clear stance on what it expects from both Eir and ComReg.

Whilst it is still just a letter of recommendation, despite the urgent language, and therefore is in no way legally binding, the pressure placed onto ComReg will likely force them into action as this is both a public and private matter.

The conflict between Eir and other Irish Telecommunication companies is in theory rather simple. Eir have been investing into infrastructure in order to bring broadband, fibre and other forms of telecommunication to Ireland, allowing the other companies to use them but also being able to set their own rate.

Rival companies argue that Eir has been able to enjoy excessive returns for this investment which does not truly represent the value of their investment, something that Eir has always disagreed with.

ComReg has said that they will change the weighted average cost of capital rate from 8.18 per cent to 5.61 per cent. In essence, this compensates Eir for their investment into infrastructure that they have done so far, and in turn, this means that Eir will be able to reduce the rates that they charge the rival companies to profit from these infrastructures.   

ComReg has been delaying this change so far, and it is for this reason that the European Commission has written this letter. Alto, a body that basically represents the other major telecommunication companies than Eir, is understandably the driving force behind the pressure being put on both Eir and ComReg.

Some rivals are also concerned by the fact that fibre broadband charges have not been included price change recommendations and thus Eir will continue to charge the other operators a higher rate of fibre for a few more years. On top of this, if the next weighted average cost of capital rate review does encourage Eir to reduce their rates that Eir will appeal this decision for fibre and continue the higher charge for other operators.

In reference to the letter, Sky Broadband stated that it was pleased with the “clear and unambiguous comments in the letter” and that it was “a matter of urgency to protect consumers”. While it is much more likely that Sky Broadband regards this as a matter of urgency to protect its own financial healthiness, it is undoubtedly true that they are trying to provide a cheaper service than Eir, and so any move towards this will benefit Irish consumers. Vodafone also welcomed the letter and support the sentiment wholeheartedly.

ComReg has declared that it is finalising its decision and will be considering the European Commission’s advice and comments, and that a project to update cost models is underway. It is expected that in the next twelve months they will be preparing a few changes on the fast growing and changing industry of Irish telecommunications.

A spokesman said : “We will decide whether it is necessary to consult on updated broadband access prices based on an evaluation of whether underlying costs have changed, so that they have become materially different from prevailing regulatory prices”.

He continued by stating : “ComReg’s approach to updating regulated prices reflects the importance of regulatory certainty in promoting investment, as well as the desirability of avoiding a material discrepancy between prices and underlying costs”.

4 Common Mistakes When Buying Broadband

Okay, so you’re sick and tired of internet that’s barely faster than dial-up speed, and you’ve decided to take the plunge and start shopping around for a new broadband package and provider. This is all well and good, except for the fact that shopping for broadband is like wading through quicksand at waist height. There are so many variables to consider, so many providers, so many deals, so many packages, and so many pitfalls to watch out for that you may wish to quit before you’ve even started and stick with your super-slow internet instead. To make your broadband shopping experience that little bit easier, here are 4 common mistakes people make when buying broadband. Make sure you don’t make these same mistakes, and everything will run a whole lot smoother.

Not shopping around

Nobody wants to pay more for something than they have to, and if you’re looking for broadband that doesn’t cost the earth, you’ll need to shop around and take your time. Virtually every household now has broadband, and when you consider the fact that the internet plays such an important role in everyday life, it’s easy to understand why. Because of this, there are now more broadband providers than ever, and each one offers their own unique deals and perks.

Going for the cheapest option

While it pays (literally) to be savvy with your finances, sometimes it’s worth spending a little more when looking at the bigger picture. You see, some people that shop around for broadband, literally base their search purely on the cost of the broadband deal itself. You get what you pay for in this world, and if you go with super-cheap broadband, there’s a strong chance that it will not be up to scratch. Competitively priced broadband is one thing, but if it’s ridiculously cheap, it will likely be plagued with issues. You needn’t spend a fortune, but don’t base your search purely on price alone.

Not considering data usage – If you’re a large household, or if you stream a lot of content and download a lot of things, you’ll get through a lot of data. Therefore, an unlimited broadband data plan will be more beneficial to you. If however, you don’t download very much, you might be okay with a data allowance. These packages will likely be cheaper than unlimited data packages and so you’ll save yourself a bit of money in the process.

Not considering bundles

If you have Sky TV or Virgin, it might be cheaper and more beneficial for you to go with a bundle deal instead of an individual broadband package. Bundles tend to include line rental, the TV package you’ve purchased, and the broadband, all rolled into one. If you need all three things anyway, it could be cheaper and easier to go with a broadband bundle deal instead.

4 Things You Didn’t Know About WIFI and the Internet

Although there are arguments to be made for the internet slowly turning us into slaves to technology, for the most part, broadband and the internet has been a truly remarkable invention that has revolutionized modern life as we know it today. Without the internet, you wouldn’t be reading this fun article today.

Without the internet, you wouldn’t be able to read your friend’s pointless statuses on social media, or watch funny videos of people slipping over when you’re supposed to be working. On a more serious note, without the internet, life as we know it today would come grinding to a screeching halt. We owe a lot to the internet, but are you a self-proclaimed ‘internet buff’? Unless you already know these fun facts that we’re about to share with you, we’re going to recommend that you hold off on referring to yourself as an internet buff just yet. Here are 4 things you didn’t know about WIFI and the internet.

WIFI doesn’t stand for anything

Some of you reading this article will now be getting pretty hot under the collar, as the general belief is that WIFI actually stands for ‘Wireless-Fidelity’. That, however, is not the case. An early WIFI advertising slogan incorrectly stated that WIFI did indeed stand for ‘wireless fidelity’ and things took off from there. The truth however, is that WIFI doesn’t really stand for anything. It’s just a fun-sounding technical term used in the tech-industry.

The internet is not as new as you think

If you’re like us, you probably connected to the internet sometime in the mid to late nineties, as that is when the world really jumped on board the whole internet saga. The internet, however, was not invented in the nineties at all, it was actually created much earlier than that, way back in 1966 in fact.

The internet is water-based

Water and electricity generally don’t mix, but in the case of the internet, this is an exception. You see, the internet works thanks to a series of underwater ‘submarine communications cables’ which are laid underwater on the sea bed between various stations located on land. In the past, the internet has been disrupted thanks to these cables sustaining damage from numerous things, including ship anchors, and natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Broadband gets its name from physics

Nowadays, all households get their internet connectivity thanks to broadband. But what precisely is broadband? Well, broadband is a term used in the world of physics, to describe a form of radiation which gives off a ‘broad band’ (see what we mean?) of continuous frequencies. Technically speaking, the sun is a form of broadband, although don’t worry, we’re confident that the sun isn’t in fact a giant glowing broadband internet router that some superior alien species forgot to switch off. Or are we?

Interesting Facts About Broadband and The Internet

Interesting Facts About Broadband and The Internet

In fairly-recent times, there have been some pretty ground-breaking inventions, though none more so than the creation of the internet. The internet has changed the way modern societies live their lives, and we are now more reliant on the internet than ever before. Like it or not, the internet is now a common part of everyday life, and that does not look set to change anytime soon. You yourselves can probably remember back in the mid-to-late nineties when you first had the internet installed in your homes. Looking back at dial-up, it now seems pre-historic, but at the time it was like the stuff you see in Sci-Fi Blockbusters. Broadband and the internet have changed lives, mainly for the better it has to be said, but do you know all there is to know about broadband and the world wide web? If not, check out these interesting facts and see how many you knew beforehand.

A LOT of people use the internet

This should come as no surprise to learn that there are a lot of people using the internet on a daily basis. When we say a lot however, we really mean it. There are currently around 7.7 billion people living on this planet. Out of those 7.7 billion people, more than 4 billion of them use the internet on a regular basis. This is more than 1 in 2 people, so as you can see, sorting your broadband connectivity out should be fairly high up on your list of priorities if you wish to stay with the times.

You can become addicted to the internet

The internet, as great as it can be, can also be detrimental for our health and well-being. It is very possible for an individual to become addicted to the internet. The problem is so bad in fact, that in China, there are special camps designed specifically for internet addicts looking to break their addiction. It is most common for fairly young people to suffer from internet addiction, with 200 million users in the country being aged between 15 and 35.

Broadband speeds are changing

Back in 2005, the maximum broadbandspeed of the internet was 2 Megabits every second. Nowadays however, slightly more than a decade later, it is now possible to achieve speeds of 100 Megabits per second in some parts of the country. You’ve heard of super-fast broadband and fibre optic connectivity, and that is an example of it in action.

Very first YouTube video

We all know what YouTube is so there’s no need to go over what the site is and how it functions. There are hundreds of millions of videos on YouTube these days, but back in 2005, there was just one. On the 23rd of April, 2005, a user named Jawed Karim uploaded YouTube’s very first video. The video was titled ‘Me at the Zoo’ so there’s no prizes for guessing what the video was about. The vid clip was just 18 seconds in length, and as of this writing, it has been viewed 55,095,425 times. That’s impressive, but currently the most viewed video of all time is Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, with 5.2 Billion views!

Even More Interesting but Useless Broadband and Internet Facts

Even More Interesting but Useless Broadband and Internet Facts

As we’re so confident that you will have loved our previous article listing interesting but useless facts about broadband and the internet, we’ve decided to compile another with even more fun online facts you won’t believe. Okay, you probably will believe them as you know what a strange and wonderful place the internet can be, but even so, we’re sure you’ll get a kick out of them. Some of these facts may prove useful at your local pub quiz, whilst others may simply offer you something interesting to tell your friends the next time you’re down at the pub. Just FYI, please don’t hold us responsible if your friends don’t in fact find them interesting.

Spam has been around a long time

Last time we spoke about how email had actually been around since 1971. Well, for a blissful 7 years, those fortunate enough to use email did not need to worry about spam. All that changed one fateful day in 1978 however. Back then, 600 internet users were the recipients of a spam advertisement for a presentation provided by Digital Equipment Corporation for what was known as DEC system 2020. None of these 600 people asked for this email, and none found it useful. If only they knew then what we know now about spam.

You can still access the world’s first website

As we’re on the subject of world firsts, you can actually still access the very first website in the world. That’s right, it’s still online! Needless to say, it’s a very primitive HTML site, and it contains nothing more than a couple of lines of text, created via the first version of HTML. The site, if you’re interested, is

URL meaning

Ever hear people talking about a website’s URL, and you just nod your head aimlessly, hoping that the subject of conversation will soon change? Yes, us too. Well, the next time you hear people talking about web URLs, you can now relax, safe in the knowledge that URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.

Gmail was once owned by Garfield

When you think of broadband and Gmail nowadays, you think of Google. Well, once upon a time, the hugely popular cartoon cat Garfield, actually offered an email service named Gmail. Google later acquired the service, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The internet sure has a lot of naked women

Okay, we know that the internet is a pornography haven, but did you know that around 80% of all online images out there are of a naked woman of some description? Well, you do now. Currently, the online adult industry generates around £2,300 every second. Yes, we did say second, and now you know why there are so many naked ladies out there.

The internet took off very quickly

To reach 50 million internet users, it took just 4 years. To put that into perspective, TV took 12 years, whereas radio took a whopping 38 years. Hooray for broadband.

4 More Interesting Stories About Broadband and the Internet

4 More Interesting Stories About Broadband and the Internet

As you know, the internet is now a fairly-large part of modern life. By fairly-large, we actually mean that it is an integral part of modern society, and without it, civilisation as we know it today would crumble. The internet plays such an important role in so many of today’s tasks that it’s hard to believe that it’s only really been very popular since the mid-1990s. At the time, the internet was considered the stuff of Science Fiction, but if we look back today at how it used to be, it would look decidedly primitive.

The internet can be funny, it can be scary, and it can be downright bizarre. One thing that is for certain however, is the fact that it’s going nowhere anytime soon. Here are 5 more interesting stories about broadband and the internet that you probably hadn’t heard before.

The world’s first webcam

Webcams are used for all kinds of things, but do you know where the first webcam was created and what it was streaming? No, not that, so get your minds out of the gutter. The world’s first webcam was in fact created at Cambridge University back in 1991. The image the webcam was streaming was in fact located next door to the old computer room of the university. The image was of a coffee pot. The idea was that thirsty employees could monitor how much coffee was in the pot and would know when it was full and when it was empty. The stream was sadly retired back in 2001, but it had a very solid ten years and saved countless university employees from going thirsty.

Spam for everyone

Spam isn’t just a questionable “meat” product that is contained in a can. It turns out that spam is also very prominent when it comes to emails. We all receive spam and junk mail in our emails, but did you know that a whopping 70% of all emails sent online are in fact spam. Each minute we send over 200 million emails, so that is a heck of a lot of spam, we’re sure you’ll agree. Thank goodness for spam filters, huh?

Italy isn’t as fond of the internet as others

We’re not sure whether it’s because the weather is so beautiful, the quality of life is better, or because people are simply busy doing other things, but Italy does not use the internet as much as the rest of the world. In China, there are literally camps designed specifically to treat people addicted to the internet. In Italy however, roughly one third of the population has never used the internet before.

All hail the creator

We all know what the World Wide Web is, but do you know who is credited with creating it? Well, you will shortly. The man responsible for creating the web is an English computer scientists and engineer named Tim Berners Lee. It is actually Sir Tim Berners Lee, as back in 2004 he received a Knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Broadband Provider

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Broadband Provider

In this day and age, it’s safe to say that we rely on the internet and on broadband for virtually everything. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but we do rely on it for a heck of a lot. Whether you need broadband for use in the home, or for use in your business, the important thing to remember is that finding the right broadband provider is essential. Without the right provider, your coverage will suffer, and life will become much harder than it needs to be. If you’re on the lookout for a new broadband provider, here are 5 things you will need to consider.

Your download limits

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a new broadband provider is whether download limits. If you rarely use the internet and don’t download a great deal, a lower limit may be beneficial and probably will be cheaper. If you do a lot of downloading, or you are a large household or a business, choosing a package with unlimited downloads should be high on your list of priorities. This package will probably cost slightly more, but if you do download a lot, it will certainly be worth it.


Before you start getting sucked in with deals that sound too good to be true, a very important thing you will need to consider is the cost. If you’re looking to purchase a new broadband package, how much can you realistically afford and more to the point, how much do you want to spend? Before you begin searching for a new broadband provider, take the time to figure out how much you can afford and how much you want to spend and then give yourself a budget.

Service in your area

Another important factor to take into consideration is the service in your area. Some rural locations for example, may struggle to get a good service or fast speeds from certain providers. If you require fast speeds, it’s worth doing your research and finding out which providers happen to offer the best service in your area.

Customer service

Never underestimate the importance of good customer service. Remember, modern technology is wonderful when it works. When it isn’t working however, it can be a real nightmare. When your broadband goes down, and trust us, it will likely go down from time to time, no matter how awesome it is, you need to be safe in the knowledge that help is never far away. This is where friendly and efficient customer service proves to be so useful. When you’re searching for a broadband provider, try to find out about their customer service and find out whether people rate it or not.

Length of contract

Finally, the last thing you need to consider when searching for a broadband provider is the overall length of your contract. Unless you get an unbelievably good deal, the last thing you want is to find yourself tied down to a lengthy contract. If you aren’t sure in the early stages, it’s best to go with a relatively short contract, as that way if your deal isn’t right, you won’t have long to left before you can switch providers. If it does work out, you can always renew and perhaps opt for a longer contract the next time.

How to Haggle for a Great Broadband Deal

How to Haggle for a Great Broadband Deal

As you probably know, without the internet we would be pretty-much done for as far as society goes. We rely on the internet and our broadband deals for a variety of reasons, and without it you wouldn’t be reading this article right now. We use the web for our shopping, we use it to pay our bills, we do our work online, and we like to spend our free time online in the process.

Needless to say, broadband providers have picked up on the fact that we’re so reliant on them, and to be quite frank, some of them are charging their customers extortionate amounts of money for a service that can be obtained much cheaper from somewhere else. If your broadband provider is ripping you off, it’s time to haggle and get a better deal, either from them or with somebody else. Here are some tips on haggling for a great broadband deal.

Ask your provider for a discount

First and foremost, we understand that switching broadband providers, while not being the hardest task in the world, is still another job we could do without. Ideally, we’d stick with the provider we’re with now, but would pay much less. Believe it or not, but one of the best ways of getting a better deal from your broadband provider is to simply give them a ring and ask them. You’d be amazed by how many times a simple phone call and the request of a discount works. At the end of the day, you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain, so give them a call, tell them you’re unhappy with the amount you’re paying, and see what they can do for you.

Get quotes from elsewhere

Another great haggling technique when it comes to obtaining a broadband deal is to speak to other providers and get quotes from them. Tell them how much you are paying now and they will almost certainly offer you a better price for the same deal and service, otherwise you’d have no incentive to go with them. Once you obtain these quotes you can then go back to your current provider.

See if your current provider can beat the quotes you obtained

Once you’ve obtained a few quotes from other providers, call your current provider, tell them you are unhappy and are thinking of leaving because of the price, and tell them the cheapest quotes you were offered. As they will likely want to retain your custom, they will likely offer come back with an even better offer then the cheapest quotes you received.

Play hard ball

If you are still not happy with the offers your provider has come back to you with, now it’s time to play hard ball. Assuming you are at the end of your contract, or are soon to be, simply tell them that if they don’t offer you a better deal, that you are going to cancel and not renew with them again. If they value your custom, they will offer you a cheaper rate. If not, and you seriously are looking to leave, go with one of the other providers who gave you a quote and see which offers they have for you.

Interesting Facts about Broadband and the Internet

Interesting Facts about Broadband and the Internet

Nowadays, the internet is as common in everyday life as the humble television set. It’s hard to believe then, that a little over two decades ago, having online connectivity was seen as a luxury that only the very privileged could afford. We rely on the internet for so many things in day to day life that in all honesty, if for some reason the world were to lose online connectivity, even for a short period of time, chaos and anarchy would likely ensue. As awesome as the internet is, we bet there are a number of facts relating to the internet that you weren’t aware of. Many of these facts are nothing more than just useless trivia, but they’re incredibly interesting nonetheless, and who knows when they may come in handy. Here are some interesting facts about broadband and the internet that you probably didn’t know.

There are a lot of websites online

Shock horror, the internet has a lot of websites, who knew? Yes, okay, you can hold the sarcasm however, because you’ll likely be surprised when you learn precisely how many websites there are. As of October 2018, there are more than 1.9 BILLION websites online, and that number is growing every single day. Some are awesome, some are horrendous, and some are just plain bizarre, but they are there nonetheless.

More than 1 in 2 people uses the web

We knew that the internet was popular, but did you know it was this popular? Currently there are 7.53 billion people in the world. As of this writing, just shy of 3.8 billion people are connected to the world wide web in some capacity.

We spend a lot of money online

Whether you’re buying your dog a cute outfit to wear during the holidays, or a brand-new processor for your work laptop, you can buy virtually anything online. Because of this, we spend a lot of money online in the UK, but do you know how much? Well, roughly each year, we spend an astonishing £1.7 Trillion on the web.

Hacking is a problem

Like it or not, online cyber crime is a real problem. Many websites, big and small, have been hacked in the past, and sadly that will likely be the case for the foreseeable future. Every single day however, around 85,000 websites are hacked by cyber-criminals, with WordPress sites being amongst the most vulnerable.

The first email was sent earlier than you thought

It wasn’t until the mid-nineties that the internet started to take off. The world’s very first email however, was sent way back in 1971. While the world’s first text message read ‘Merry Christmas’ the world’s first email was decidedly more boring. We know that because US programmer Ray Tomlinson sent it, and he can’t actually remember what it said.

We send a lot of emails

Talking of emails, while most of yours are probably spam, you do get the occasional useful one. But do you know how many emails are sent thanks to the internet and broadband? Well, you’re about to. We send 250 Billion emails every single day.