The Irish telecommunication network was recently deregulated, but the government company Eircom still owns the majority of the lines and connections. Your service provider will most likely be Eircom.
The cables and installations are all Eircom property, although you may choose to register for the service with another company (such as the second largest company Vodafone). Eircom owns approximately 70% of fixed telephone business, with the biggest competitors being cable or fibre providers (such as the UPC Ireland cable company).
Eircom holds very few offices in Ireland. However, your can easily reach them by phone or on the internet. If you are moving into a building that has a telephone plug, you can simply plug in a phone and check if there is a tone. Although most lines are disconnected, they are not entirely removed. If you can hear a soft tone, you will be redirected to Eircom's sale department in order to reconnect the line.
Line reconnections are nearly automatic, but new installations can take between 2 to 14 days. This depends on whether a technician needs to come to your house.
In 2010, Eircom charged approximately 25 Euros for a line reconnection and 130 Euros for a new installation. You will then need to pay a 20 Euros of line rental every month. These costs are some of the highest in Europe.
You can get a bundle including telephone, mobile phone and internet starting from about 50 Euros a month with Eircom.
Eircom has a minimum term of six months on its contracts, so think carefully before signing up!
You are also free to choose another operator, but you will always have to pay the line rental.
When it comes to buying new phones we can recommend Gigaset's cordless phones.
BT Ireland also provides fixed telephone services, although they use Eircom lines. BT Ireland provides a single bill including Eircom line rental.
You can use www.callcosts.ie to compare the price of home phones and combined services.