What with all the debacle this week between eircom and Smart Telecom, we’re now in the market for a new voice carrier as we had been a very happy Smart customers for over a year now.

Prior to that we were eircom’s customer for 18 month’s give or take and I’ll be cold in the ground before that every happens again. I got the impression from repeated “technical issues” going unresolved until the regulator, Comreg, stepped in that eircom couldn’t care less about there domestic customers. Strangely, our migration to Smart coincided with a polar change in the quality of service.

Since Smart took over our voice traffic we have not had an issue since, compared to every 2-3 months previously.Unfortunately, Smart could not provide us Broadband so we were in the unusual situation of having our voice services from Smart and our Data from eircom.

Now, I’m not a petty man, really I’m not (ask Elly if you won’t take my word for it ;)) but from what I have heard reading various articles and blogs this week it would appear that eircom turned off Smarts voice customers ’cause Smart hadn’t paid there bill, then hired 500 hundred new temporary “switcher” staff the same day and I even heard a rumour that eircom had actually refused a payment from Smart. To me this stinks of Anti-competitive behaviour short of sending a masked men with AK-47′s round the smart offices, I can’t actually think of any way it could have abused it’s position more. As a result I will be cancelling my broadband with eircom and seeing as how if I have a land-line I’m paying eircom line rental one way or another That’s gotta go as well.

This leaves me in a rather difficult position, despite living in the greater Dublin area with many broadband providers available to me I have a choice of 3 apparently, once you rule out DSL (cause they need a land line) and satellite (latency is too high for good voice) 2 of these (QBS and Digiweb) are listed on the governments Broadband website. The other, NTL, isn’t listed for some reason.So far we have only confirmed that NTL can provide us service, but the others will be contacted and checked out as well before a final decision is made. As for the voice service well again there are 3 choices, Skype, Blueface and Skytel, actually thanks to Tom Raftery maybe only two.

What’s our holy grail for voice?

  • I want to keep my existing number
  • good customer service
  • Reliable service
  • loads of gadgets and additional features included :)

I guess this is the start of a process, I’ll keep posting on how thing’s are going and hopefully soon I’ll be posting a “how to get phone and broadband without giving eircom a cent” post real soon. ;)