Clear Net has plans afoot

Clear Communications says its ISP Clear Net has begun to grow again after being virtually stalled last year by Telecom's 0867 initiative.

Clear Communications says its ISP Clear Net has begun to grow again after being virtually stalled last year by Telecom's 0867 initiative.

Clear spokesman Ross Inglis says 0867 "really put the brakes on Clear Net's growth – and we believe that was the underlying strategy" but the ISP has resumed growth and is "on the verge of some significant announcements about enhancements and new developments. What you will see is a crystalisation of the strategy of taking Clear Net into the business internet space."

Reports from the company suggest that the restructuring announced this week by Clear is as much in response to recent growth in its business as in anticipation of it. Some parts of the company are understood to have been strained for capacity in recent months.

Inglis says the numbers began to turn around for Clear in the closing months of the last financial year, which saw the former chief executive Tim Cullinane declare a $30 million loss but promises sole shareholder British Telecom that the company would be in profit for the 2001 financial year.

Inglis says the company is "tracking well" to fulfil Cullinane's promise, with growth coming from "the new business areas of the company – data, internet services, managed network services and consultancy.

"For some time we’ve said we're transforming ourselves into an information and communications business, focusing on internet, data and e-business solutions, with a very strong focus on the business market.

"You'll find that Clear Net will be fairly assertive in the coming months."

Inglis says Clear Net has not suffered from the success of its free sibling, Zfree, which now has more than 200,000 customers on its books.

In announcing the restructuring on Wednesday, CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos said a renewed focus on the customer was at the core of the plan, which replaces eight directorates with four "customer-facing business units" supported by six service units – one of which is the company's network division.

Inglis says the placement of the customer at the center of the business, rather than the network itself, is the key to Clear's "move away from the traditional telco model."

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