Eircom “Split Line” Issue Can Be Overcome

I spoke for 60 seconds on Raidio na Gaeltachta this morning!  I was prompted to call in response to a discussion about rural broadband, a subject of which I have had some experience.

I didn’t catch the name of the guest but he was explaining to Ciarán, the presenter, the problem faced by many telephone subscribers who are saddled with the legacy of split lines (also known as carrier lines or multiplexed lines).  Some of you might recall I also had this problem.

The reason I called was to inform listeners that it is actually possible (although difficult) to get Eircom to remedy the issue.  In fact, I’ve been meaning to blog this for the last couple of months: my own “split line” issue was resolved in January.

Of course it is still impossible for a multiplexed line to carry broadband (or even a satisfactory 56kbps dialup signal).  However, it is sometimes possible for them to take dedicated copper from a neighbour who does not require data and put them on the multiplexer instead.

Over the course of 5 months I received vague and conflicting information from different Eircom departments in relation to this.  Some people even went so far as to say that the company had a “new policy” of doing the line re-assignment where possible – and that all I had to do was to ask.  However, the sales department claimed to have heard of no such policy.

Eventually someone suggested we report the line as “faulty”.  This we did, explaining that the fault was that a split line was incapable of broadband.  To the best of my understanding, this is what got things moving in the end.

Credit where it is due: I want to thank the various individuals in Eircom who were sympathetic to my situation and who worked to resolve it.  Thanks in particular to the local line provisioning and maintenance departments for their advice and actions.  I also appreciate that senior management and the Australian parent company have expressed their concern about this issue.

I think the concern is justified – and not just because of the infrastructure legacy of previous governments and owners.  Probably a greater cause for concern is the apparent systemic failure of the organisation to provide a coherent and a cohesive approach to customer experience in relation to this issue.

If it is company policy to deal with the “legacy issue” (and why on earth should they have any other policy?)  – then why don’t they address these individual cases as they arise, instead of the standard response: “your line is unsuitable – go away”?

So, my advice to Raidio na Gaeltachta listeners, and to anyone else who is interested, is that it is possible to overcome the “split line” (líne roinnte) obstacle to provision of broadband (banda leathan).  All you need to do is plead, nag, beg, bother, hassle, worry, annoy, plámás, impí, badaráil, cur isteach, ciap, cráigh …

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9 Comments on “Eircom “Split Line” Issue Can Be Overcome”

  1. Thomas Says:

    I’ve been trying to get broadband here in Killeens, Wexford the past few years – Up until last November Eircom sales people offered me just about every excuse they could think of – “the line hasn’t failed, it’s just not been tested, try again in a few months”, “you’ll have to wait for it to be rolled out”, “I’ve put in a request for it to be tested, I’ll call you back in a week”…

    Finally when Eircom’s online test said we were good an engineer called out to point out that, no, we weren’t – we’re on a split line… I didn’t find this out until 2 months after the fact as a result of a complaint I put in about their service (The engineer that “called out, actually didn’t. instead leaving a number to call & didn’t have a clue who I was”). Whoever I spoke to informed me that they had NO intention (“not my decision, business decision”) of fixing the split line either.

    Wireless is unavailable (No signals) at my home & satellite’s cost is prohibitive.

    Despite this I’m within the town boundaries (Which will be extended further beyond my home in the near future too).

    Most annoyingly is as I write for techspot.com I NEED broadband as downloads are becoming ever larger – I’ve had to give up on writing game guides as game updates are now well about 100MBs in many cases & competing authors can simply get the content days, weeks before I ever could. Eircom’s year of incompetence means not only that I’m stuck on lousy dialup – but the prospect of self-employment in the area of technology journalism is non-existent (& I’ve been writing since 98/99)


  2. […] It’s often down to lines being split and made incapable of carrying a broadband signal. Conn O Muineachain explains on Raidio na […]


  3. The Irish broadband disgrace is starting to become an international issue as listeners to http://www.forimmediaterelease.biz have noticed on FIR224 and FIR225.


  4. @Thomas – just to clarify my situation. Broadband is critical to my business as well, and I’ve had to go to extraordinary lengths to get it. The site where I have installed the DSL is in Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare – 20 miles from my main office in my home. I have a clear Line Of Sight to that location and use wireless to bring the signal to where I need it.

    If you can do a bit of DIY Wide Area WiFi – or if you can get some help with this – then you don’t need Line Of Sight to Irish Broadband or any other Wireless ISP. All you need is LOS to any place that can get DSL – and is willing to supply it to you.

    Check out http://www.irishwan.ie for further information, or feel free to contact me using the details on my “About” page.

    Regarding your own split line – try reporting it as a fault, perhaps?

    Good Luck! Let us know how you get on.


  5. […] Formal Complaint To Eircom [UPDATE 22 MARCH 2007:  This case has been resolved.  See here for details.] […]


  6. […] copper line problems from eircom Conn mentions how to get this very common eircom problem […]

  7. Lal Says:

    Plenty of sites online that will show u the How-To regd. rigging up Wifi from someone closeby that has a broadband connectio, You can come to some arrangement (booze, cake, IT help … whatever)

    do able as conn indicates and not black-magic at all.

    If u’re stuck drop me a line

    Lal


  8. I have NTL broadband and it is nearly worthless about 50% of the time, presumably because the bandwidth is oversold. I don’t believe I have ever achieved their advertised speeds. To make matters worse, blogger was down a few weeks ago for nearly a week. Anyone have suggestions for a provider other than Eircom or NTL? Am I stuck? In the states we now have Fiber to the Home in many areas with speeds of over 30mbps. 3mbps is a joke these days and they can’t even provide that half the time!

  9. Thomas Says:

    A few people I know have been onto me about that possibility alright. I’ve not really hgad time to investigate it too much though…

    Course this wouldn’t be necessary in the first place if we had a competent telecommunications provider (Or, the government had properly considered infrastructure before deciding to sell…)

    Sigh.


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