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New Zealand Businesses Plan Early Y2K Checks

What will you be doing on the first day of the new millennium?

If you're part of a small or medium-sized business, there's a good chance you'll be at work checking your systems for Y2K errors.

A Y2K survey conducted by CLEAR Communications has found that more than a quarter of its small and medium business customers (those with between 10 and 49 employees) plan Y2K system checks on January 1, 2000.

E-mail was seen as the highest priority, with more respondents wanting to check their e-mail connection than other services on New Year's day.

"The survey results give us a good indication of our customers' likely online services and telephony patterns over the New Year period," says CLEAR's Year 2000 Project Director, Craig Myles.

"We found that the majority of respondents will be open for business again on either Monday, 3, or Wednesday, 5 January. The really interesting find, however, is that a very large group of respondents said they would be back at work on January 1 to test their systems.

"We are now able to plan for the key dates of January 1, 3 and 5 with some confidence. This is both in regard to customer services requirements, and to meeting our customers' expectations for telephone and online services," says Myles.

In view of potential Internet capacity issues over the New Year period, participants were asked whether adverse media reports would influence their Internet access plans.

Eighty-six respondents indicated they would wait for the dust to settle before attempting to access their business' Internet connection. Fifty respondents noted they would alter plans and attempt access earlier.

The July survey sampled 1500 small and medium business customers and was designed to help CLEAR's Y2K Programme Team understand the communications needs of its business customers in the critical week after New Year. A variety of industries was surveyed with a 13.5 percent response rate.

The survey is understood to be the first qualitative Y2K survey to question business plans for the New Year.

Additional Findings:

*Eighty two percent of respondents have Y2K testing programmes. Nearly half, 48 percent, of these programmes have already been completed, with a further 46 percent due for completion in September. A small proportion of respondents (four percent) will complete their programmes in December.

*Seventeen percent of respondents had no Y2K testing programme in place.

ENDS

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