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The investment by UPC in its fibre-optic network is a serious threat to the former stage monopoly, Eircom. The Sunday Times’ business focus entitled “End of the Line” wonders how long Eircom can cope given its potentially crippling debt mountain.

Last week a union official told the Communications Workers Union conference there was a “real possibility” the company could go bust within months unless it sorted out major internal difficulties. Eircom dismissed the claims immediately but this has done little to ease the nerves of staff who are expecting a huge jobs cull in the near future.

And in case anyone is unaware of just how quickly telecoms technology is changing, consider the Sindo’s piece on the speaking clock. At its peak, the service was logging almost 3m calls a year but nowadays that has shrunk to around 2,000 – yielding Eircom a mere €420 a year.

The clock might be ticking but it clearly isn’t going to be the answer to Eircom’s problems.


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