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ihug first to enter Telecom exchange

Thursday 9, 2007

ihug first to enter Telecom exchange

ihug is the first public company in New Zealand's history to enter a Telecom exchange to install its own equipment so it can provide broadband and phone services directly to customers in the future.

A trial started today in the Ponsonby and Glenfield exchanges, which will see ihug complete technical testing over the next few months before launching to customers at the end of the year.

However, the company, now owned by Vodafone, is keen to see a far greater number of exchanges open their doors. ihug chief executive Mark Rushworth says the trial is akin to fixing the first pothole on the road to faster broadband for kiwis.

"It's great to finally get the keys - or swipe card as it is these days - to these two exchanges so we can put our own equipment in. But it's important to remember that we're still a long way from being able to offer the majority of Kiwis faster broadband - which is what they're crying out for.

"For local loop unbundling (LLU) to work, it needs to be done in a big way and that's what ihug, with its own expertise and the financial backing of Vodafone, will be doing. Kiwis will be able to reap the benefits of true competition for the first time between New Zealand's two top telco providers.

"But it needs to be able to happen much faster and on a much larger scale than what's been proposed."

Ihug has been working since the LLU announcement was made last year to make sure they're ready to put their equipment into as many exchanges as possible as soon as they're able to. "We don't want to give away our plans to the competition but this trial is an important part of getting ready to provide these services to as many Kiwis as we can.

"For individuals and businesses, it's all about saying goodbye to frustratingly slow speeds and the chance to reap the full benefits of the internet like video conferencing, streaming music, movies and TV, making voice calls over the internet or even simple things like sending and receiving large emails in seconds instead of hours."

ENDS


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