Asia Online is dead, long live Iconz.
Following Asia Online's decision to pull out of New Zealand and the subsequent purchase of its customer base by eSurf Holdings, managing director Michael Spencer has been casting around for a name and finally settled on one many Kiwi internet users will be familiar with.
"The Iconz brand was established in 1992 by the Internet Company of New Zealand, one of New Zealand’s first internet providers. The Internet Company became Asia Online when it was bought in 1999," says Spencer who will use the name for all his various ISP assets, which currently include Ezysurf, CoolNet and e3 along with eSurf Wireless.
"We've got around 17,000 users altogether of which about 80% are business customers." While the company will focus on the business end of the market, Spencer says the residential side won't be neglected.
"I expect it will continue to grow by osmosis and we will of course be offering value added services in this sector as well." He says an anti-virus scanning system will be put in place in the near future that should take a lot of the sting out of viruses for the residential user.
"Iconz was the largest independent business ISP in the country and we plan to continue in that vein."
Spencer expects the next year to be a rocky one for the ISP market with smaller players, the so-called garage ISPs, falling by the wayside.
"I'm talking about the 1500 to 5000 customer ISPs that can't make money. There will be a lot of movement this year I would expect."
Spencer says the market is a volatile one but he believes Iconz will weather it well.
"In December last year we experienced a 7% growth in revenue which was unexpected but great to see." He puts the growth down to the company's emphasis on adding value to the ISP service.
"Security and service are the sort of things customers want from their ISP."