ISP consolidation continues apace

The consolidation of the New Zealand ISP market continues unabated with Auckland-based Maxnet's purchase of Web Internet.

The consolidation of the New Zealand ISP market continues unabated with Auckland-based Maxnet's purchase of Web Internet.

Maxnet has also purchased two other small ISPs in recent months, Surfer Internet and Titan Internet.

The trend towards an ISP market dominated by fewer larger players has accelerated in the last year, with the closure of Voyager's consumer division and the amalgamation of Asia Online, one of New Zealand's first ISPs, into eSurf Holdings' portfolio.

Waikato-based PavTech also spent part of last year looking for a buyer for its ISP arm before deciding to keep it in house.

The purchase of Clear by Telstra has seen two of the larger ISPs also caught in the crossfire - TelstraClear now has two competing ISPs in ClearNet and Paradise.

While Telecom and TelstraClear dominate the top tier of the ISP market, and Ihug slotting in at third, the smaller players are fighting it out mostly for the consumer and small business market.

At the very low end of the market the closure of Clear's free ISP Zfree has meant an end to the short-lived phenomenon of the free provider, which was really only possible because of political game playing between Telecom and Clear over interconnection payments.

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