Auckland-based ISP Quicksilver is offering a service that it says will triple the speed of a dial-up connection without the end user needing to buy new hardware.
Quicksilver Slipstream is a compression technology from Canadian developer, SlipStream Data and can be added to any existing Quicksilver dial-up customer's account simply by downloading a client application, says Quicksilver CEO Matthew Hobbs.
"It accelerates the delivery of data between our network and their computer."
Hobbs says Quicksilver hopes to avoid the bandwidth bottleneck which, for most dial-up customers is their 56Kbit/s modem.
"The speeds from the ISP to the internet isn't an issue. We've got tens of megabits of speed."
The Slipstream product doesn't require a Telepermit from Telecom as it isn't a hardware connection to the Telecom network.
"It's software that sits on a server on our network so that's not an issue."
While the product won't deliver speeds as fast as Telecom's JetStream Starter product, which runs at 128Kbit/s, Hobbs says it's ideal for home users or small businesses that aren't willing to make the price jump to the more expensive services. Slipstream costs an additional $10 a month above the price of the ISP's dial-up service.
"It speeds up the existing speed so if a customer has a bad connection and is getting 16Kbit/s they'll get triple that."
Hobbs says the solution will also work for DSL customers, however Quicksilver is still reviewing its options for that end of the market.
"If you can connect at three times DSL speed then you're able to download three times as fast so there are some economic issues to be worked through there with regards to the traffic."
Slipstream only works with Windows operating systems from Windows 98 onward and will only increase the speed of web browsing and email collection - secure websites, FTP and file downloads will continue at the user's normal speed.
Each Slipstream username and password will only work on one installation of the software so people wanting to use it on more than one computer will need additional Slipstream usernames charged at $10 per month each.