No need to surrender full-speed DSL customers says Telecom

Claims that Telecom will cut off customers are a 'misrepresentation'

ISPs concerned they will lose full-speed business DSL customers as the JetStream Partnering Programme (JSPP) is slowly being strangled out of existence can breathe easily, Telecom’s wholesale division promises

JSPP is the orginal DSL resale plan under which the full-speed JetStream was supplied by Telecom. Later on, it also covered the 128kbit/s JetStream Starter, or JetStart, which proved popular with entry level customers desiring better-than-dialup speeds.

However, full-speed plans have turned out to be popular with business customers who need higher upstream speed than the current 128kbit/s offered by other DSL plans.

Flagged for retirement since November 2004, the JSPP has proved to be hard to kill for Telecom. The date when JSPP is finally put out to pasture has been moved forward as the migration of customers to the other wholesale plans — Commercial Unbundled Bitstream (CUBS) and Wholesale Broadband Solution (WBS) — has taken ISPs longer than expected. ISPs have not been able to sign up any new JSPP customers since the middle of this year.

Labelling comments that Telecom would disconnect JSPP customers on October 31 as “misrepresentation”, Chris Dyhrberg, head of marketing for Telecom’s wholesale group, says service will continue after that date. Dyhrberg says that most JSPP ISPs have, however, already completed migration, with only three providers left with significant numbers of customers.

According to Dyhrberg, Telecom is working with JSPP ISPs to ensure a smooth migration of their customers to different plans, and has produced a large amount of information material to help with the process. Telecom has also written to JSPP end-customers to explain what is happening, Dyhrberg says.

Some ISPs who contacted Computerworld about the demise of JSPP have said that Telecom’s CUBS is not suitable for business users as it’s hard to share a connection with a low upstream speed. The alternative, WBS, is seen as unattractive from a business point as it requires ISPs to take on the credit risk of the customer’s usage while guaranteeing payment for it to Telecom.

Dyhrberg responds to this saying that assuming credit risk for customers is part of business as a service provider. He says that in order to prevent excessive bills, Telecom provides a daily download of customer usage so that ISPs can monitor activity. ISPs can also supply their own bandwidth for WBS by buying Telecom’s FastIP service if they wish.

As for ISP concerns that they would lose full-speed business customers to Telecom Xtra, which is continuing to sell JetStream plans, Dyhrberg says this is nonsense. Telecom wholesale is working hard to meet the self-imposed target of 33% of all broadband connections by the end of the year coming from third-party ISPs and thus would not want customers to go to the telco’s retail provider arm.

If ISPs do not wish to move customers to CUBS or WBS, Dyhrberg says Telecom will let them migrate to wholesale JetStream instead.

One thing is certain: Telecom will kill off JetStart at the end of the year. Telecom offers a cheaper 256kbit/s service and says customers must move off JetStart.

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