Boxer does a runner

Boxer has decided not to go ahead with its plans to offer commercial DTT channels in Ireland. One wonders if they thought the whole thing through properly in the first place. Between the cable companies and Sky, pretty much everyone in Ireland who wants more than the four national channels, has more. Boxer would have had to compete either on choice (impossible given the bandwidth constraints) or cost. Certainly offering the basic selection of UK stations and a few more for about EUR10 a month would be attractive to many since the entry level pricing for cable and satellite is the order of EUR30 a month.

However satellite customers wanting to pay less can just cancel their subscriptions (as I have done) and get the UK free-to-air channels free anyway.

The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland is now looking at Plan B. But the consortium that came in second place is a rogues' gallery of companies that I wouldn't have a lot of faith in.

The Digital TV rollout is of national strategic importance. It's a pity that the rollout is not going smoothly.

If after the rollout of Digital TV all viewers have is the same number of channels off air as they had before, but viewed through an expensive set-top-box, they might ask what was the point. I have always argued that spectrum over Ireland is not that much in demand. The market cannot support any more mobile phone companies. There is little need for the time being of the bandwidth that the switch to digital would free up.


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