Software developer delighted by decision

Money spent on Telecom over years would have been better spent on the business, he says

Auckland-based software developer Ambient Design is welcoming the government’s move to increase broadband competition.

Co-director Andy Bearsley says his company has spent a fortune on Telecom services over the years and he relishes a chance to move to one of its competitors.

“Telecom has always done the bare minimum for its customers and has acted only in its own best interests at every turn. It’s only ever offered us a better service when it’s [been] forced to by government.”

Ambient Design made headlines in 2000 when it asked Telecom for a DSL connection only to be told it would cost $70,000. Bearsley told Computerworld at the time that Telecom wanted him to pay for the upgrade to the exchange before it would offer him broadband service.

“We moved from dial-up to satellite service with Ihug.” However, that didn’t solve Ambient’s problem.

“Satellite service is one-way so we could receive data from the US but couldn’t send it out at any more than 33kbit/s.”

Ambient then managed to get a frame relay connection through Telecom — at a cost of $5,000 a month for 1Mbit/s.

“A year or so ago we finally got DSL at $800 a month but you tell your American customers that and they laugh at you.” The equivalent T1 line in the US costs around US$40 (NZ$62) per month.

The money Bearsley says he’s spent on Telecom services over the years would have been better spent on his own business, he says.

“We’d have hired staff, and done more development work. It would have been invested in the business.” Ambient Design sub-contracts staff all around the country and Bearsley hopes he’ll be able to make more use of such staff.

”We’ve just launched our first wholly-owned product, ArtRage 2.0, so we’ll be taking on more developers as we go forward with that.” Bearsley says it’s vital to the development process that all staff are working on the same version of the software.

“This will ensure everyone is more up to date and has the latest version of the software to work with.”

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