UPDATE: Xtra gets favours on new DSL product

Xtra has blocked access to a web page detailing its flat-rate pricing for the new 128Kbit/s JetStart ADSL service -- before other ISPs have even been told by Telecom that the product exists

Xtra has blocked access to a web page detailing its pricing for the new 128Kbps JetStart ADSL service – before other ISPs have even been told by Telecom that the product exists.

On Tuesday, the page at http://xtrasite.co.nz/jetstart2/pricing.html appeared, but was soon blocked.

Xtra spokesperson Mary Parker says the publishing of the details was "wee mishap".

"There is definitely something in the works, but it's partly a Telecom product, with an Xtra product on top of it, so we're just working out joint launch dates."

The pricing listed in the page offers unlimited 128Kbit/s internet access for $59.90 monthly – made of up charges of $29.95 each from Telecom and Xtra respectively.

A representative of one independent ISP is furious that Telecom appears to have given its own ISP a run-up to the launch of the new low-cost DSL product

"No doubt, Telecom will shortly tell the rest of its subservient ISPs about this new product, and Xtra will miraculously reveal its product, pricing, marketing, advertising and sales plans within hours of the announcement and steal a head start on the 'opposition'," he says.

The country's largest ISP suffered another wee mishap yesterday when its email service became unavailable for nearly 24 hours – from 7pm Tuesday to 5pm yesterday. According to Xtra, a failover for one POP3 system that handles incoming mail for half of Xtra's 300,000 customers failed to kick in after an upgrade went wrong on Tuesday night, leaving the customers without email for the duration.

A former Xtra helpdesk employee says staff are always told to cite problems with a server upgrade when any of the ISP's systems fail: "Although I could never explain to the customers why we'd be doing upgrades at times when there would be so many people online."

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