Faster residential UBS launch this Thursday

One month $88 carrot for new UBS connections to go with existing $114.50 churn stick also announced

Telecom is on track to deliver faster 1 and 2Mbit/s Unbundled Bitstream Service (UBS) DSL plans this Thursday. The new plans have been developed to meet the Commerce Commission's specification of an "internet grade service" with a maximum 128kbit/s upstream speed, according Telecom's general manager of wholesale services Tim Lusk.

Telecom's early March figures show it has 17,600 wholesale broadband customers, and that 11 ISPs are currently offering UBS according to its Wholesale Update letter. The telco has committed itself to an end-of-the year target of 250,000 residential broadband customers, a third of which will be Telecom wholesale broadband customers. The government is currently monitoring Telecom's goals through the Commerce Commission.

To "incentivise" ISPs into helping Telecom meet its goal of wholesale broadband customers, the telco will now offer an $88 plus GST bonus for each new UBS connection sold. Apart from boosting sales of Telecom UBS, the bonus is meant to encourage ISPs to migrate dial-up customers to DSL.

The connection bonus offer will be available between 29th of March until 29th of April. It applies only to new UBS connections, which must remain connected for six months. So-called "churn" connections, or customers switching UBS providers, do not qualify for the bonus but are instead subject to the existing, controversial $114.50 charge payable to Telecom.

Business plans offering 1 and 2Mbit/s downstream speeds are also in the pipeline. Asked whether these UBS plans would offer service guarantees and features beyond the residential plans, or simply be dearer variants of the latter, Telecom's wholesale manager for strategy and planning Martin Butler said they won't differ from the residential plans.

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