Irish fixed line incumbent eircom has announced plans to raise domestic phone bills by an average 3.6% and line rental charges by nearly 5% from the end of next month. Call charges for local and national long-distance calls as well as the cost of using the operator’s directory service are also going up by 4.9%, it said in a statement. eircom talktime products are also set to rise by between 2.5% and 3.8%, although the cost of broadband and international calls services are unchanged. The former monopoly blames the price rise – the first in three years – on rising business costs. ‘As with any other utility operating in the Irish market, we continue to face the same challenges of increased business costs, higher wages, and the need to continuously invest in our network,’ said Rex Comb, chief executive officer of eircom.