Voice over Wired Country

Wired Country will begin offering voice service over its network from the end of March.

Wired Country will begin offering voice service over its network from the end of March.

Wired Country, a subsidiary of Counties Power, operates a fibre network in the rural district between Auckland and Hamilton and wholesales broadband services to a number of local ISPs including Ihug, ICONZ, The Wave, The Packing Shed and Watchdog.

Already trials are underway at a number of these resellers and with Wired Country's voice solutions partner, WorldxChange, says Counties Power CEO Neil Simmonds.

"We're ready to go, we just need the retail partners to start offering the service to the end users."

WorldxChange's marketing manager Cecil Alexander says he hopes to do that by the end of March.

"By the first of March we'll go to the next phase by adding another 100 to 200 customers on [to the trial] offering both voice and internet services."

Alexander says he already has a number of customers, including a 24-seat call centre, that are using the system.

"That's a pure IP connection but they're able to use their analogue phones internally so they're pretty excited about that."

From there Alexander hopes to have a full commercial offering available by the end of the month.

"We're defining various pricing schedules for premium and non-premium service so hopefully we'll have prices available soon."

Alexander says because WorldxChange offers voice service across a variety of wholesale providers, he wants to standardise on one consistent service.

"I'm trying to put together a programme where regardless of how you get to us ... that it's always the same product rather than having the market regionalised."

Ihug is also gearing up to offer voice over Wired Country's network, according to managing director Martin Wylie.

"We hope to go live with that in the next couple of months. There's a lot of incentive to be able to do away with the bill to Telecom altogether."

Hamilton-based Wave Internet is also keen and has just announced a residential broadband package using Wired Country's network in the Waikato, says marketing manager Wayne Attwell.

"We announced the service and then Telecom came out with its DSL pricing plan which is interesting."

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