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Ihug Rejects Telecom; Applies To Commcomm

09 March 2006

Ihug Rejects Telecom; Applies To Commcomm

In a courageous move, New Zealand's largest wholesaler of broadband has rejected the latest wholesale offer from Telecom in favour of asking for speeds up to twice as fast for their customers.

Ihug has turned down Telecom's offer of 3.5Mb to ask the Commerce Commission for speeds of up to 7.5Mb, at more realistic prices.

Chief executive Mark Rushworth says while the move is a bold one for the company, ihug did not want to ignore the calls from New Zealanders for faster, more affordable broadband.

"New Zealanders are relying on companies like ihug to push for broadband that is as least as fast and inexpensive as what our Aussie neighbours are getting.

"Within days of launching our 'better broadband for kiwis' website we've had thousands of emails telling us that 3.5Mb isn't good enough and that regulation is the answer."

Both ihug and Slingshot's owner CallPlus are applying for separate determinations with the Commerce Commission this week.

Rushworth says the company's priority is to continue to lobby the government for local loop unbundling (LLU), but an improved wholesale product would still be needed alongside LLU.

"A successful determination will mean we can offer our customers speeds of up to 7.5Mb but with LLU we'll be able to offer them speeds of up to 24Mb and a much cheaper phone service as well," he says.

This announcement comes just days after ihug's Australian parent company iiNet reported a milestone in its LLU infrastructure roll-out. iiNet has already invested over $34.5 million dollars to install its own equipment called DSLAMs. With 200 DSLAMs now set up throughout Australia, around 85,000 iiNet customers are getting speeds of up to 24Mb from just $29.95 a month.


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