Compaq has teamed up with Clear Communications to beta-test Clear's new IP-based Wide Area Network (WAN) service, IP Express.
Compaq Services has already been involved in the supply and support of the Cisco/Stratacom-based ATM core on which IP Express is based.
The beta programme is expected to conclude in mid-October, ahead of a planned launch at the end of October.
Tests will include an assessment of IP Express' capability to provide telehosting facilities for ISPs and IT companies who provide application services and support for their customers, functionality C;ear's senior manager for data transport services, Jane Hindle, describes as "very significant.
"Until now these companies have not been able to offer telehosting without risking decreased network performance for their customers. Now they will be able to put servers where they want, enabling their customers to outsource their IT requirements without risking network performance. It will provide a new level of telehosting service in New Zealand."
Customers will connect to the service using ethernet and it will initially be available in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Hindles says IP Express will be the first service of its type in New Zealand, and among the first in the world.
"This type of broadband access has not previously been deployed on a large scale in New Zealand," she says. "It is also significant for Clear because it is another major step towards becoming New Zealand's number one on-line service provider to business.
"IP Express will revolutionise business networking by using local area network (LAN) technology to deliver a WAN service."
Hindle says that although Clear anticipates a high demand for the new technology, its deployment strategy will focus on delivering "quality rather than quantity."
The trial with Compaq New Zealand is being carried out over a number of different locations nationwide.