ICONZ looks to Nzoom on web-based email

Frustrated by the amount of spam he gets in his Hotmail account, ICONZ operations manager Sean Weekes has decided to take matters into his own hands.

Frustrated by the amount of spam he gets in his Hotmail account, ICONZ operations manager Sean Weekes has decided to take matters into his own hands.

ICONZ, one of the country's largest ISPs, will offer its own free web-based email service in the near future.

"I've got a Hotmail account like millions of others and I was amazed by how much spam I got. So I opened another one and didn't use it for anything or tell anyone about it and within two weeks I started getting spam there as well."

Weekes says users find that kind of level of spam frustrating and he hopes to find a solution for them.

Web-based email isn't new to New Zealand - TVNZ's online portal Nzoom has had its own free email service, Nzoomail, for a couple of years.

Weekes says he has been in touch with Nzoom over whether the two companies can work together in the future on this matter.

"We're putting an infrastructure in place, they've obviously already got a service in place."

He says it's very early days yet however ICONZ will be working on the issue regardless of what happens with Nzoom. The service as Weekes foresees it would be available to anyone, not just ICONZ customers.

A web-based email service is only one of the new ideas Weekes is talking about for the year ahead - most of his time and energy is spent on the commercial customer side of his business rather than the residential.

"I hope to grow the business user base by 20% this year - that's the aim."

ICONZ has around 12,500 business customers and around 25,000 residential customers Weekes hopes to offer new services aimed at both sides of the industry.

"We're coming out with a firewall solution for dial-up customers. Currently we offer a product aimed at broadband and business customers but the residential market needs something as well."

The product would either be free or at most "a dollar a month, that sort of price" says Weekes who has a philosophy of building a long term relationship with clients rather than trying to milk them for short term profits.

"The term ISP means internet service provider but I think it should be internet solution provider. That's what we do - we try to offer solutions from end to end that our customers want."

Business customers can expect to see a bandwidth management tool made available in the short term with other innovations coming during the year.

"There are three parts to this business - you've got to manage your accounts, manage your pipe, your bandwidth and you've got to innovate."

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