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Orcon launches unbundled broadband and phone calls

News release unbundled - 1
March 13, 2008

Orcon® launches unbundled broadband and phone calls

Orcon today (Mar. 13, 2008) launches faster broadband and unlimited national calls on a newly unbundled network, meaning households no longer have to deal with Telecom.

Orcon is the first telecommunications provider to introduce new phone and internet plans following the Government’s decision in late 2006 to ‘unbundle’ the local loop, the copper wires that link homes to their neighbourhood exchanges.

Called Orcon@home+, the company’s unbundled telephone and ADSL2+ broadband network is initially available to customers via five Auckland exchanges from March 25. A further 10 exchanges will be added by mid-2008, with major cities added in stages through 2008 and 2009.

Those New Zealanders in areas awaiting unbundling are also being looked after. Orcon is launching a new range of broadband and calling packages for residents in most other areas, based on existing Telecom wholesale products.

Orcon’s new unbundled ADSL2+ service has the potential to deliver speeds of up to 24 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and up to 1 Mbps upstream [Downstream means data downloaded onto a computer from the internet; upstream is data sent from a computer to the internet.], roughly tripling the downstream bandwidth capacity of standard ADSL. ADSL is the common existing broadband standard in New Zealand.

Orcon is launching three plans, all of which include “world class” broadband. The main plans offer unlimited toll calls in New Zealand, and the ultimate package offers unlimited overseas calls to one of 15 countries of the subscriber’s choice.

There is no minimum contract period with subscribers billed monthly and Orcon says its customers are capable of saving hundreds of dollars a year.

Households on the mid-level Orcon@home Gold+ plan pay $99.95 a month for next generation broadband, home calling and an unlimited number of national calls. Orcon estimates that that’s a saving of about $30 on similar services purchased from Telecom.

“While it’s broadband freedom day for New Zealanders this is just the first step in our plans to bring Kiwis the world class telecommunications and entertainment services they want,” says Orcon chief executive officer Scott Bartlett.
“We are the small guy doing things differently. We have been quietly working away for a couple of years focusing on quality service while getting ready for the big day. Finally Kiwis can reap the benefits of true competition in the telecommunications industry.”

Working with technology company Nokia Siemens Networks, Orcon has been installing its equipment in the exchanges since July last year and has been trialling the service since August last year.

The ADSL2+ service is available initially to households linked to five Auckland telephone exchanges in Glenfield, Browns Bay, Ellerslie, Mt Albert and Ponsonby.


About Orcon®
Orcon is New Zealand's fourth biggest ISP, and the third largest internet wholesaler in New Zealand. Orcon employs more than 100 people in New Zealand and provides services to more than 100,000 New Zealand businesses and homes. Orcon has been in the business for 10 years and in both 2006 and 2007 was voted Internet Service Provider of the Year by the telecom users group TUANZ.


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Media information plans - 1
March 13, 2008

Orcon’s new unbundled broadband plans

Orcon.net.nz has unveiled faster broadband and unbundled telephone calls for New Zealanders.

The connection plans are initially available to customers from five Auckland exchanges from March 25, 2008. They are:

ADSL2+
Orcon@home Purple+: $79.95 / month
- 10GB of premium broadband data (no phone line included).
- Additional data available at $1 / GB.
- Add more data: 25GB for $20; 50GB for $40; 100GB for $60.
- Hardware: Free one port modem or rent Orcon Homehub* for $5 / month.

Orcon@home Gold+: $99.95 / month
- 10GB of premium broadband data.
- Phone with unlimited local and national calling, voicemail, call waiting & caller ID.
- Additional data available at $1 / GB.
- Add more data: 25GB for $20; 50GB for $40; 100GB for $60.
- Add more calling: unlimited calls to any of top 15 international destinations** for $10 / country.
- Hardware: Free one port modem or rent Orcon Homehub* for $5 / month.

Orcon@home Platinum+: $119.95 / month
- 25GB of premium broadband data.
- Phone with unlimited local and national calling, voicemail, call waiting & caller ID.
- Unlimited calling to one of 15 international destinations of choice**.
- Additional data available at $1 / GB.
- Add more data: 25GB for $20; 50GB for $40; 100GB for $60.
- Add more calling: unlimited calls to other 14 countries for $10 / destination.
- Hardware: Free Homehub* while with Orcon.

* The Orcon Homehub is a wireless modem enabling broadband to be accessed from anywhere in the home without the inconvenience of plugs and cables. What makes the Orcon Homehub different is that the Orcon network can talk directly to it, so if there’s ever a problem, the helpdesk can fix it remotely.

Orcon has also unveiled a new unbundled bitstream product available in areas serviced by most other telephone exchanges.

UBA (unbundled bitstream)

Purple: $39.95 / month, broadband only.
Gold: $109.95 / month, broadband & phone with unlimited local and national calling (no voicemail, call waiting & caller ID).
Platinum: $129.95 / month, broadband, phone with unlimited local and national calling, (no voicemail, call waiting & caller ID). Unlimited calling to one of 15 international destinations of choice**

** Designated international destinations are Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, USA and UK.

NOTE: A key interface is the company’s website at www.orcon.net.nz where prospective customers can enter their phone number to ascertain which service is available to them. See website for maps of initial five Auckland areas covered.

About Orcon®
Orcon is New Zealand's fourth biggest ISP, and the third largest internet wholesaler in New Zealand. Orcon employs more than 100 people in New Zealand and provides services to more than 100,000 New Zealand businesses and homes. Orcon has been in the business for 10 years and in both 2006 and 2007 was voted Internet Service Provider of the Year by the telecom users group TUANZ.

--

Orcon@home backgrounder - 1
March 13, 2008

BACKGROUNDER
Orcon Unbundled Telephone and Broadband Network

Orcon is the country’s first telecommunications provider to launch an unbundled telephone and broadband network. This follows the government’s decision in May 2006 to unbundle the local loop linking households to their neighbourhood exchanges.

The local loop comprises the copper wiring owned by Telecom and linking subscribers to their neighbourhood exchanges. Telecom retains ownership of the wire but now must lease it to ISPs and telcos who want to set up their own service.

This requires the ISPs to install their own equipment at the telephone exchanges. Orcon has installed the equipment initially at five exchanges in Auckland and plans to progressively roll out its new service in major metropolitan areas during 2008 and 2009.

Called Orcon@home+, the new service is available to customers from March 25.

Options
Three premium broadband ADSL2+ plans (within LLU areas) and three new UBA or unbundled bitstream plans (outside of LLU areas) - see separate media information for full details.

Customers are not locked into any one data plan. More data can be added as a single gigabyte or by 25, 50 and 100GB modules and customers can add additional international phone call destinations. Subscribers can keep the same phone number or be allocated a new Orcon phone number.

Connections & equipment
The equipment is being supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks and is called MSAN.
Orcon has been working on the project since the government announced the local loop would be unbundled - that was in May 2006. Orcon has been testing the new service for seven months.

The switch-over of customers from Telecom has to be done at the telephone exchange and generally takes around half a day.

The timeline for other exchanges
Orcon’s focus is on Auckland initially and expects to have at least 15 exchanges connected by the end of May. The aim is to roll out in Wellington in the fourth quarter of this year and in Christchurch in the second half of 2009. Orcon is focusing on major metropolitan areas because its customers are in those areas.

The exchanges were chosen by Telecom which polled every ISP that expressed an interest in local loop unbundling asking them which areas they wanted to begin with. Then Telecom collated the results and decided which areas it would hand over and in which order. Orcon suggested beginning in areas where it had the most existing users so it could reward them for their custom.

Orcon@home+ is a service designed for people who want next generation broadband at a reasonable price and without being tied down to a long term contract. And because it’s flexible, Orcon@home+ suits people whose data needs may change from time to time.

Orcon
Orcon is New Zealand’s fastest-growing telecommunications provider providing a range of broadband, dial-up, home phone and business internet products. It is New Zealand's fourth biggest ISP, and the third largest internet wholesaler in New Zealand.

Orcon employs more than 100 people in New Zealand and provides services to more than 100,000 New Zealand businesses and homes. Orcon has been in the business for 10 years and in both 2006 and 2007 was voted Internet Service Provider of the Year by the telecom users group TUANZ.

NOTE: A key interface is the company’s website at www.orcon.net.nz where prospective customers can enter their phone number to ascertain which service is available to them. See website for maps of initial five Auckland areas covered.

Issued for Orcon.net.nz by Pead PR


ENDS

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