New chief executive and new business plans for Ihug

Former Telecom mobile marketing manager takes the helm

Ihug has hired another former Telecom executive to head up its New Zealand business.

Mark Rushworth, Telecom's former mobile marketing manager, will take over at the start of August and is expected to bring his "experience with customer service" to bear.

Rushworth’s previous role was group operations manager for Aquiline Holdings, a privately-owned management and investment company, with an annual turnover of $200m and over 350 staff. He has a masters degree in management (engineering) from Canterbury University and over seven years experience in the telecommunications industry, having worked for Telecom in various management roles between 1996 and 2002, according to Ihug's press statement.

Rushworth replaces Guy Nelson, who left the company in June. At the time Ihug's parent company, Perth based iiNet, announced it would not be seeking a country manager as such, but instead a chief operating officer. However Rushworth's new title will be chief executive.

Nelson replaced Martin Wylie, also a former Telecom high flyer. Wylie has recently been appointed CEO of another Auckland-based ISP, CallPlus.

Ihug also announced a range of new broadband business plans based on Telecom's 1Mbit/s and 2Mbit/s plans. Prices range from $119.95 a month for 1Mbit/s and 5GB of traffic up to $299.95 a month for 2Mbit/s with 25GB of traffic.

Excess usage will either trigger a throttle to 64kbit/s or an excess usage charge of $5 per gigabyte.

Ihug's general manager of networks David Diprose says demand from business for faster plans is "huge" however he is unhappy not to be able to offer faster upload speeds. Telecom's wholesale regime is currently rate limited to no more than 128kbit/s.

"It’s disappointing that the upload speed hasn’t increased and that’s something that we’ll continue to push for so that businesses can take full advantage of the benefits of broadband.”

The new plans all offer five email addresses, 10 MB of web space, virus and spam filtering, static IP address and technical support.

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