No new ISP, says Telecom

Small businesses will have service alternatives to the YahooXtra Bubble

Telecom is denying a report it is planning to set up a new ISP focusing on small- to medium-sized businesses, but is preparing three new "differentiated" service packages for its business customers.

Telecom's head of business markets, Victoria Crone, says Telecom is working on a 12 to 18 month plan to deliver three tiers of services for business customers. These will include new broadband plans, new modems, helpdesk services, backup and security services and "business-grade email", she says.

Crone says Telecom recognises that the needs of small business are different from those of the consumer market.

The offerings will also focus on the shift from voice to IP in Telecom's traditional telephony market and in delivering a range of software-as-a-service (SaaS) or hosted business applications in partnership with providers.

Email services have been very troublesome for some small business under the current YahooXtra service. Crone says, under the new offerings, email will be available in three different ways.

Some users will choose to continue with the YahooXtra Popmail service, some will go with a new service for customers using domain names and some will choose a new managed business mail service, she says.

For the latter two services the rules around bulk mail and spam will be slightly different to those applying now, she says.

"Small businesses will gain access to the kinds of mail management corporates have," Crone says.

She confirms the domain name service and the managed mail service will not run on YahooXtra's platform. However, there is no new platform build going on either. Crone says the platform has "always been there".

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