When will my broadband be upgraded?

Here in Ireland one company owns (almost?) all the local phone lines, Eircom. Just about every other company who provides a DSL service has to rent from them (anyone remember Smart?). The result of which is very similar pricing from every single broadband provider.

There is a silver lining of sorts. Eircom promised that they would upgrade all exchanges to support higher speeds by the end of July. We’re getting perilously close to that deadline and still no sign of upgrades for many. I received an email from BT yesterday giving this upgrade time page where I typed my phone number in and found out,

Your line will be upgraded on the weekend of the 26th July

Good news for me then. My 2Mb line becomes a 3Mb one. The upload rate remains at 256Kb unfortunately.

I twittered that url yesterday and others found out they’ll have to wait until August 9th. The page above works even if you’re not using BT’s service. When will your broadband be upgraded?

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

26 thoughts on “When will my broadband be upgraded?”

  1. Donncha, are Chorus cable in your area? I know they have a bad rep from a customer support point of view, but they offer 3, 10 or 20MB.

    I’m on 10MB for €30/month – I did a download test a few weeks ago and was getting around 9MB. I’m in Limerick city btw.

  2. Nice. They are in Blarney but I had never considered them before.

    Just checked, according to their site only “Digital TV” is available in my area. Oh well.

  3. Whats wrong with Smart Telecom? I’m a Smart Telecom customer and have received a fantastic service from them right from the beginning. The only problems we have had have all been caused by those bastards in eirComreg! The only fault I have with my broadband is that I am not getting my full 4Mb speed but that is due to being beyond the recommended distance. I’m getting approx 2.5Mb which is fine for me. Eircom would not even give me broadband! Now if you change to Smart you even get to keep your phone number but unfortunately we joined while eirComreg were screwing this up. Smart Telecom highly recommended! As for Chorus, I have never heard anything good about them and everyone I know who was a customer has changed from them very fast. Avoid at all costs!

  4. Mel – just making reference to their problems when they almost went out of business. Didn’t they want to run their own lines to houses or something? Going up against Eircom’s monopoly on the local loop requires a lot of capital!

    My memory is hazy, but my brother used Smart at the time and I think he received a letter saying his subscription was to be cancelled and he had to get broadband from another company.

  5. I’m with eircom and have had no major problems with them. Customer service was surprisingly good when I had to avail of it.

    Probably because I’m on a business package though. They announced that they will be upgrading all business customers by the end of July but I’ve heard nothing from them yet. I’m waiting for my 4Mb to be upgraded to 10! My upload will double too so hopefully I’ll be able to post more pictures on my blog 🙂

  6. Mel, you have now heard something good about Chorus! I’ve had broadband & TV from them for around 3 years now with no downtime and no problems whatsoever.

    Saying “Avoid at all costs!” when you’ve only ever “heard” and never experienced is a little harsh imo.

    I’ve never had to call customer support though, which is the area that they seem to have a bad name in. This is probably why I’m not annoyed with them 🙂

  7. @Donncha
    Smart use eirComregs local lines from exchange to house, but they use their own national fibre network behind this. One of the problems with them expanding is that they need to install their own equipment into the exchanges and eirComreg are/were opposing this. This is why there is a limited amount of exchanges where Smart is available. Another way eirComreg made things difficult for Smart, and as an original Smart phone service customer I had to go through all the crap, was that in order to available of Smart Telecom when it became available, existing Smart customers had to change back to eirComreg for phone service in order to get an eirComreg account number before eirComreg would change the live over to the Smart equipment. So my telecom history in my current house has been eirComreg, Smart, eirComreg for 1 month, Smart.

    With regard to Smart service being cancelled, it was only for users of phone only. Anybody with broadband was able to stay with them. They just stopped providing phone only services.

    I’m delighted that you are happy with Chorus, and you are in fact the first person I have ever communicated with that is. All my friends who have dealt with them for TV and/or broadband have left with a vow never to return. So while I have never experienced them directly, I feel I don’t need to when a large number of friends have and have told me all the details. Why would I want to experience a bad service when a large number of friends advise me not to? If 10 trusted friends told me to avoid a particular restaurant as the food was awful and the premises filthy, I would not need to experience it just to see for myself. The same goes for me and Chorus ( and Cork Multichannel before that)! And their problems were more to do with the supply of service rather than customer service.

  8. Doesn’t look like I’ll convert you Mel!

    Hopefully things are changing for the better for Chorus customers – I suppose that’s the point I should make and leave it at that.

    Now if only I could get my friends to stop recommending me crappy restaurants 😉

  9. It’s similar here in New Brunswick, Canada. I live on a secondary highway, and its wires haven’t been upgraded to high speed yet at all.
    And they can’t tell us when.

  10. I’m getting cold calls from Eircom “inviting” me to “upgrade” to 2Mb/s, promising the free upgrade to 3Mb/s… three times now I’ve told them to get bent. They’re already charging too much, I don’t see why I should pay any more: offer me a lower bill, thne we’ll talk, thank you.

  11. I’m fascinated. My mother’s line is “post September” and she is still on dial up. I am getting close to recommending O2 mobile broadband for her as eircom cannot provide it and if eircom cannot, neither can BT, Digiweb or Perlico. She is out of Vodafone coverage according to Vodafone, and Chorus is not an option despite them having digiTV.

    For a country that thinks its next big boom will be in the knowledge economy, this is hilarious.

  12. Miracle of all miracles – eircom promised to upgrade all business customers by the end of July.I was upgraded sometime this afternoon.

    I now have 7Mb instead of the 10Mb that I thought I was supposed to get but that might be down to the routers only supporting up to 8Mb ::

  13. That’s interesting!

    You got an upgrade in Blarney and I got mine in Youghal on the same day.

    I wonder where the DSLAMS go back to?

    Quaker Road I guess..

  14. Hi, I’m Alex, from Romania a new reader of your blog and of course a new blogger! So .. let’s start from begin .. in 1998 I’ve seen for the first time the high speed internet on my city that’s locaded at 65 km of Bucharest the capital of Romania ! Why so hard ? Because there could be politics things .. here was the same .. but from dial-up I flyed to fiber optic ! So be sure that u will never know when the high speed internet will come to you 🙂 ! Keep up the great work .. !

  15. Hi Donncha, congratulation for having faster broadband.

    Your case is 100 times better than mine. I’m visiting China right now and I got only 512Kbps DSL line. On top of that, I’m blocked from nearly all the websites I want to visit.

    So yeah, thanks to having a VPN finally I can surf blogs.


  16. Okay despite living bang smack in cork city will have to wait till post september for the upgrade makes no sense douglas done before cork city

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