Telecom introduces new resale plan for smaller ISPs

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Telecom has introduced its new Wholesale Broadband Solutions (WBS) service to replace the outgoing JetStream Partnering Programme, aimed at smaller ISPs that can't afford the Unbundled Bitstream Service (UBS) that Telecom already offers.

The WBS offers ISPs 14 new rate-limited plans that are available as resale on layer 3 rather than the UBS wholesale plans, which are offered at layer 2.

Telecom says it intends WBS to become "a family of wholesale broadband services" that will offer a range of features, allowing ISPs to better differentiate their offerings.

The plans, which will be available to ISPs from September, run at 256kbit/s, 1Mbit/s and 2Mbit/s download. All are rate limited to 128kbit/s upload speed.

The variation offered allows for different data caps (1GB, 3GB, 10GB and 15GB per month) as well as new rates for exceeding these limits (either throttle on cap or a per-megabyte charge).

Telecom says while some plans increase in price and other decrease overall, the "WBS plans are at near parity" with current plan prices.

"The broadband market will be a vibrant and competitive market that rewards innovation and customer service" says the presentation sent out to ISPs yesterday.

Telecom spokesman Nik Haden says the older, full-speed JetStream plans are still available for resale as a layer 3 service, although Telecom doesn't advertise them any more.

"Only the entry-level JetStream Home 500 and 1000 have been grandfathered," he says. "The rest are all still available but aren't on the website any longer."

Ihug's spokesman for regulatory affairs, David Diprose, says that the WBS plans were mentioned by Telecom during a breakfast meeting with wholesalers a month ago. Further information about the WBS has been provided by Telecom's account managers, Diprose says. It is not, he says, in response to the recently-formed ISPANZ coalition.

However, Diprose adds that until today, he has seen nothing in writing from Telecom about WBS.

Telecom's new plans do not impress Diprose. "For larger providers with UBS already, the new wholesale offerings from Telecom are something of a non-event," he says.

WBS forces providers to use the "JetStream" service name and Telecom's monthly data caps, Diprose says, making it less attractive for larger ISPs.

Where WBS may have a role, Diprose says, is for smaller providers is it is simpler to implement than UBS, being a complete package from Telecom with less work involved for ISPs.

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