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Pre-pay Net Card Launched

A pre-pay Internet access card is set to revolutionise
the way New Zealanders surf the Net.

AUCKLAND (30 October, 2000) - New Zealanders can now have flexible, hassle-free access to the Internet through a combined offering from Asia Online and Vodafone.

The new pre-pay Internet access card, mySURF, was launched last week by these leading technology companies. mySURF pre-pay offers users anonymous, easy access to the Internet at a cost considerably below current ad hoc accounts.

General Manager of Asia Online's New Zealand operation, Hugh McKellar, says mySURF was developed in response to consumer demand.

"We have been carefully monitoring the Internet market, including free ISPs, and have received positive feedback that there is a need for no hassle, ad hoc Internet access. Currently, this type of access requires a full identity registration, with a monthly bill, and incurs a charge of up to $2.50 per hour," says Mr McKellar.

Available through leading Vodafone pre-pay retailers, including Whitcoulls and Post Shops, the mySURF starter pack contains a five-hour starter card to allow users to trial the service. A self-provisioning CD delivers users to the mySURF registration site where all they need is the unique PIN number on their starter card, and to choose a registration and webmail address and their account is instantly activated. Users are provided with a nationwide 0867 dial-up access number to start surfing.

Access can be gained, however, without the use of a CD. Users are directed to the mySURF registration page, even if they do not have current Internet access using an 0800 number, and then complete the same registration process.

Mr McKellar says the service is ideal for any consumer who wants reliable Internet access, privacy while surfing, free help-desk support, no bills, and the ability to easily control their own costs.

"mySURF is a smart and convenient solution for those in household and flatting situations, where a PC is shared, or for cost-conscious students and incoming business travelers. Parents who wish to limit the time their children are online will find this solution ideal as users are automatically disconnected when their time expires," says Mr McKellar.

"Despite the recent growth of free Internet access, we have identified a market shift back to paid Internet access. mySURF is a low cost alternative to paid Internet access, and offers many advantages over free Internet access.

There are no busy signals, Internet connections are stable, with no disconnections, and advertising is not being pushed directly at users. Users can access the Internet via their mySURF account from any PC with a modem, and can control their spending at the same time. Importantly, we're providing an anonymous service, where users' personal details remain private," says Mr McKellar. Retailing for $9.95 the mySURF starter pack includes the first CD edition of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 available in New Zealand, as well as Computer Associates InnoculateIT anti-virus software, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Windows Media Player, a thirty day trial version of Microsoft Money 2000 and other demo programs.

Two complimentary products are mySURF Recharge 15, which gives consumers 15 hours of Interent access at a cost of $19.95 (an hourly rate of $1.33); and mySURF Recharge 30, which gives consumers 30 hours of Internet access for only $29.95 (an hourly rate of $1.00).

Users have ninety days to use the credit on the mySURF pre-pay cards, once the card has been activated.

-- Ends -- For more information please contact: Hugh McKellar, General Manager, ph. 021-654 567 or Kevin Francis, Manager Professional Services, ph. 021 332 669 Released by Network Communications (Andrea Thuell), ph. 09 379 3154

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