Telecom core network 'equal to Morris Minor'

Telecom's network works to a 99.999% reliability standard, but only in the core, the company says.

Telecom’s network works to a 99.999% reliability standard, but only in the core, the company says.

Since October last year, Telecom has been running an advertising campaign around the slogan “it works”, and a claim that the “Telecom network” has the internationally coveted five-nines standard of reliability. This has brought sceptical questions from New Zealand telecomms users in internet newsgroups as to what definition of “network” the company is using.

Telecom’s marketing general manager, Kevin Kendrick, says only the core network is referred to.

One disgruntled user says “the ‘network’ referred to obviously doesn’t include [Telecom’s] internet, mobile phone or landline services, because if these services are 99.99% [sic] efficient I’ll eat my hat!

“I can’t tell you how many times I [have] had problems logging onto my internet or mail account, and then ringing the helpline which tells me that ‘currently Xtra customers are having difficulty connecting to the Xtra network, please ring back to check the network status’.”

Another user says he has experienced frequent failures in the 027 mobile service, and alludes to lengthy failures in various services to the South Island earlier this month, as a consequence of harsh weather.

“The 99.999% figure in the advertisement relates to the world standard for network reliability which focuses on core non-access network,” Kendrick says. “This applies to all Telecom’s core network platforms, including the core public switched telephone, ATM core data platform, intelligent and international networks.”

Another user, however, points out that over-99% reliability ratings are not hard to achieve, even with old technology. “My Morris Minor only let me down once in eight years. Assuming two journeys a day, that is 1/5840 or around 99.93% reliability,” he says. “Surely the Telecom network is more reliable than a 40-year-old car.”

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