UPC Ireland

UPC Ireland
UPC Communications Ireland Limited.
Type Private company limited by shares
Industry Communications
Founded December 12 2005
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland
Area served Ireland
Key people President and Chief Operating Officer (UPC Broadband) Gene M. Musselman, Robert Dunn, CEO of UPC Ireland, Shane O'Neill,Liberty Gobal, Chief Strategy Officer
Products broadband, digital television, telephone
Revenue $358.8 million[1]
Owner(s) UPC Broadband
Parent Liberty Global
Divisions UPC Ireland
Website upc.ie

UPC Ireland is Liberty Global Europe's telecommunications operation in Ireland. UPC Ireland is the largest digital cable television provider within the Republic of Ireland. As of September 2010 the company offers broadband internet, digital television and digital (VoIP) telephony to over 531,000 customers.[2] UPC Ireland previously traded under the branding Chorus NTL until May 4, 2010.[3] It is primarily in competition with Sky Ireland and Magnet Networks in the Irish Pay television market[4]



UPC Ireland Services

  • UPC Ireland focuses on three key areas digital television, broadband and phone. In addition, UPC Ireland offers to business customers a complete range of telecommunications solutions from standard voice and internet services to more advanced services such as Ethernet LAN extensions, corporate voice services, and high-speed internet. These services are offered to large corporations, public organizations, and small to medium size businesses in Ireland, primarily in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford.
  • The main product offered by UPC's is cable and MMDS ("wireless cable") television services, in analogue, and SD and HD digital formats, using DVB-C encrypted using Nagravision. While regions formerly part of NTL has switched off its analogue MMDS, ones of Chorus have yet to do so on its far more extensive network. Digital is now available in the vast majority of areas, with the Cork cable network becoming the first in the Republic of Ireland to become digital-only. In addition, the company offers broadband internet services using the EuroDOCSIS standard as well as a VoIP-based telephone service using PacketCable.

On August 14, 2007, UPC launched a personal video recorder, the UPC Mediabox, in ex-NTL areas, subsequently rolled out to other areas.

In May 2010, UPC Ireland announced plans for a 100Mb/s broadband service which would be offered to home users across its broadband-capable network in the coming months.[6] In December 2010 UPC launched its 100Mb Fibre Power Broadband package, making it the fastest ISP for residential customers in Ireland at the time.

Forthcoming services

UPC is planning to launch a "video on demand" service for its Irish customers sometime in 2012. Already available on UPC services in the Netherlands, Hungary, Switzerland, Poland and Austria. The video on demand service will allow customers in the Republic of Ireland to watch classic movies and the latest cinematic releases.[7]

UPC HD Service

On August 5, 2009 UPC launched HDTV in the Republic of Ireland.[8][9] Channels available include international broadcasters BBC HD, Discovery HD, Eurosport HD, ESPN HD, MGM HD, BBC One HD, Disney Cinemagic HD among others. From 2012 the roll-out of UPC's video-on-demand and catch up tv services already available on other UPC services across Europe will be introduced in the Republic of Ireland.[10]


  • Liberty Global and its predecessors UGC Europe and Tele-Communications Inc have had shareholdings in Chorus Communications and its predecessor, Princes Holdings (Irish Multichannel), since the company's formation in the early 1990s. Originally a joint venture with Independent News and Media, IN&M sold its shares to Liberty in 2004.
  • In May 2005, NTL agreed to sell its Irish operations NTL Ireland (previously Cablelink) to Liberty Global. Morgan Stanley held the shareholding until Competition Authority approval was obtained. This occurred in December 2005 and UPC Ireland came into being on 12 December 2005.

Integration of NTL and Chorus

  • In 2006, UPC Ireland began to integrate the brands Chorus and NTL to form Chorus NTL.
  • Branding wise, on 5 September 2006 NTL's website was changed to the same design as Chorus i.e., itself based on UPC Netherlands' website design at the time. 25 January 2007, NTL Ireland updated the electronic programme guide software to remove the NTL logo and all mention of the NTL name. However the UPC name has not replaced it, the areas which contained the NTL logo simply having been left blank. The colour scheme is still NTL's.
  • On January 31 2007, NTL and Chorus began advertising jointly, although the adverts were simply the ongoing campaign from NTL with the Chorus logo added to them. On 4 June 2007 @ntlworld.ie e-mail addresses switched to @upcmail.ie.[11] The new UPC Mediabox set top boxes (STBs) which contain a hardrive based digital video recording system are fully UPC branded (albeit with the original UPC logo rather than the current lowercase design) and come with a much enhanced EPG. These are being rolled out on both the ex NTL and Chorus cable networks. From 2008, the old Pace STBs supplied by NTL Ireland (and originally designed for NTL UK) are being replaced with new Pace STBs designed for UPC, also branded "UPC Mediabox" but without the hard drive/recording capabilities.
  • In a Sunday Business Post article on February 11, 2007, UPC Ireland's marketing manager revealed that the rebrand was due to take place no later than May 2007. This did not occur, although the continuing ownership by Virgin Media of the NTL brand means that it is likely to occur in the near future. On 16 May 2007 UPC Netherlands introduced a new UPC logo, which is due to be rolled out across UPC's European subsidiaries. It is likely that this will replace the Chorus and NTL logos. From July 2007, all UPC advertising began bearing a composite logo reading "Chorus NTL - a UPC company".
  • On June 10, 2007 UPC announced its takeover of one of the remaining small Irish operators, Clane Cable Systems. This will give it an extra 2000 customers. The network will be run as part of NTL Ireland.
  • During late September and early October 2007, Chorus and NTL included a leaflet with their bills explaining that a rebrand would occur on 21 October. That did not happen, however, on 30 October 2007, the NTL Ireland and Chorus websites were merged into a single website, although the composite Chorus NTL logo is used on it rather than the UPC logo. In November 2007, NTL Business was rebranded UPC Business, making it the first part of the company to officially adopt the UPC name.
  • On April 29, 2008 UPC's former Cork Communications cable network, latterly part of Chorus, became the first cable network in the Republic of Ireland to switch to digital, with the analogue signal (except for the Irish terrestrial channels) switched off.[12]
  • On May 4, 2010 UPC began a €3 million spend on rebranding, completing the change from Chorus:NTL to the UPC brand. A high-profile media campaign – fronted by broadcaster Craig Doyle - was planned to run for 3 months. It also lighted up a number of buildings in Dublin (including Busáras and Boland's Mill), Galway and Cork.[13]
  • UPC had received the final approvals to acquire assets from broadband rival Broadworks, which was in liquidation. This will give it access to about 6,600 homes in west Dublin and Meath. The Competition Authority cleared the deal on April 21, 2010.[14]

List of channels


External links

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