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ihug To Offer Voice And Broadband Combo Service

ihug To Offer Voice And Broadband Combo Service

The announcement that Woosh has been dropped from the Government's provincial broadband extension project Probe in favour of Telecom adds to the growing concern about the recent Commerce Commission unbundling decision.

"It's been a great couple of weeks for Telecom. Last week they had Paul Swain's decision rejecting mandatory unbundling of the local loop, and this week the supposed Telecom alternative falls out of the race," says David Diprose, GM Networks at ihug. Woosh's failure reinforces how hard it is to succeed in building a viable alternate network to the incumbent Telecom's. There are not many alternative networks, and none with significant geographic coverage.

One possible alternative is the launch of ihug's new combo broadband and voice services over the Wired Country network in Auckland. People living in the right parts of Auckland will at last be able to choose a viable alternative to Telecom for their communications needs.

"But unfortunately our new combo service makes no difference to the rest of New Zealand. Nor does limited wholesaling of Telecom's Jetstream product range," said Mr Diprose. "In contrast, true unbundling as available in virtually all the developed world, but rejected by the Minister, would bring innovative product choice and competitive pricing within reach of most New Zealanders."

Until the political decision makers understand the urgent need to reverse this situation, consider yourself lucky if you live in the right part of Auckland.

ENDS

About ihug

ihug Ltd is New Zealand's original Internet pioneer. It has over 110,000 current subscribers across broadband, dial-up and telephony products in New Zealand. It also provides wholesale broadband and satellite access and web services to telecommunications operators and ISPs. The company has achieved its position from a culture of continuous innovation, which includes New Zealand's first flat rate Internet access plans, high-speed internet access and is one of New Zealand's leading VoIP telephony service providers. ihug is a subsidiary of NZ Stock Exchange listed company iiNet Ltd (NZSX: IIN).


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