TelstraClear lost a customer when changes made by Xtra to its JetStream ADSL platform meant TelstraClear had to alter Envision, its DSL-delivered intranet hosting service.
The changes to JetStream involved Xtra closing access to port 135 at its network in response to the Blaster virus scare earlier this year. Port 135 allows Windows file serving to function, the virus using the port to take over PCs and deliver them to a remote attacker.
TelstraClear was able to employ work-arounds to continue offering its service to all but one customer, says spokesman Matthew Bolland, but for that customer “the issue wasn’t able to be resolved to their satisfaction”.
Telecom spokeswoman Katrina King says after Telecom blocked access to port 135 in August, TelstraClear asked Telecom to remove part of this block to allow its customers access to Envision.
“Unfortunately, not all routers were unblocked and this resulted in Xtra’s dial-up and JetStream Starter customers being unable to access Envision.” She says Telecom asked TelstraClear to contact Xtra’s network operations centre should any issues remain. “However, no response was received and as a result, Telecom was unaware there was still an issue.”
Bolland says TelstraClear “quite clearly” asked Telecom to clear the port. “We clearly communicated that there was an issue.”
TelstraClear sympathised with Telecom’s motives in closing the port, but took the opportunity to argue for local loop unbundling (LLU). “It was something Telecom had to do, but it’s an example of how reselling services doesn’t give you the flexibility customers need,” says Bolland.
The story of the lost customer was told by TelstraClear regulatory affairs spokesman Grant Forsyth at a TUANZ event last month as an example of why, in TelstraClear’s view, unbundling is needed in New Zealand.
“With local loop unbundling, you’d have the ability to make the changes yourself [in such a situation],” Bolland says.
Telecoms Commissioner Douglas Webb is due on December 20 to release his final determination on whether New Zealand should adopt LLU.
TelstraClear, TUANZ and other proponents of LLU believe lower broadband prices will result, but Telecom maintains LLU will discourage competitors investing in new network capacity and that the experience of other countries that have unbundled their local loop shows the benefits are unclear.