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Auckland ISP Cuts Toll Costs with Skype

Auckland ISP Cuts Toll Costs with Skype

Auckland-based web hosting provider Web Drive is known for its market leadership and innovations, and so its latest move should come as no surprise.

The business believes it is the first customer call centre in New Zealand to offer personal helpdesk support to its 1,500 customers via the popular Skype VOIP software.

Skype is a software program currently used by over 100 million people around the world, that lets you use your computer and the Internet to make free video and voice calls to your friends and family anywhere in the world.

"This is a win-win for Web Drive and its customers" says Managing Director Daniel Williams. "We get the benefit of reducing toll costs on our 0800 phone lines, and our customers get the benefit of convenience by having Web Drive support staff on their contact list, accessible at the press of a button. It's also great for small businesses because it means their traditional phone line is not tied up on outgoing calls when their could be customers trying to get through."

Unfortunately it's not a win-win for everybody though. Telcos such as Telecom and TelstraClear make the bulk of their revenue from toll calls, and face a shaky future in the wake of VOIP (Voice Over IP).

"The landscape is changing for everyone," says Williams. "Toll providers such as Telecom are quickly losing their monopoly power as Internet speeds and technologies advance, and for end-users the true cost is being realised."

This sentiment couldn't echo more true as Telecom CEO Theresa Gattung recently admitted that telcos use confusion as a marketing tool to keep toll prices high.

Skype's popularity as a toll-alternative continues to grow rapidly. As well as free Internet calls between users, Skype also lets you purchase credit to then make calls from your computer to any landline or mobile anywhere in the world.

"We're no longer going to be reliant on these monopolostic companies for our communication needs" says Williams. "With technologies such as Skype as the next generation in calling we're finally going to get the freedom and choices that we deserve. You can't compete with 'free'"


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