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ICONZ Expansion Drive Secures Free Parking

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Internet business solutions provider (ICONZ) has purchased New Zealand's most popular authorised domain name registrar, FreeParking, as part of its ongoing expansion strategy.

FreeParking is a division of WebFarm Limited, one of New Zealand's leading Web hosting companies. WebFarm will continue to be based in New Plymouth.

The purchase of WebFarm will increase ICONZ's foothold in the New Zealand market. Both business and residential customers will be able to set up an instant email and web presence as a result of the companies joining forces.

ICONZ and FreeParking are currently developing a specific SME package where customers can choose from a menu of services, such as data back-up and anti-spam filters, to enable them to exploit the Web to their best advantage.

"Feedback suggests that many SMEs owners can be intimidated by the Web and our tailored package will enable them to set up a domain name, email and create a web site without having to deal with three separate suppliers, which is far easier and cost effective," said Sean Weekes, general manager at ICONZ.

The purchase complements ICONZ's existing Intellihost service. While Intellihost is primarily aimed at the Web designer market, WebFarm is targeted towards the end consumer.

A domain name is an address on the internet which provides a unique online identity. Domain names can be registered or 'parked' to secure the name for future use, or they can be used straight away for web sites and email addresses. While most Internet Service Providers charge a domain parking fee between $7 to $30 per month, FreeParking enables customers to 'park' their domain name for free. This arrangement will continue under ICONZ's ownership.

Domain registration and hosting are becoming increasingly popular among

end-users and businesses alike. In NZ about 40,000 .nz domains were registered in 2003, with FreeParking registering more than 10,000 of these. In fact, FreeParking has registered more than 30,000 domain names making it New Zealand's most preeminent registrar.

"ICONZ purchased WebFarm because we couldn't find a better match in terms of capability, vision and culture. Both companies are New Zealand owned and operated and profitable. By joining forces the potential for growth even stronger," said Weekes.

"It's our vision that ICONZ will become the authority in all areas relating to domain management," added Weekes. "We've structured ICONZ so that, as New Zealanders develop and become more sophisticated with their Web usage, we will have the right integrated solutions to help them make the most of the Internet in their business and personal lives."

"We're delighted to join the ICONZ team, for our existing customers it will be business as usual," said Richard Shearer, general manager at WebFarm. "ICONZ's data centre infrastructure and network are world-class and with a high quality environment housed in New Zealand, it means the technical operations are highly scaleable."


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