Ihug plays down 0867 problems

Ihug is playing down problems with Telecom's new 0867 dial-in Internet numbers, saying Telecom has fixed problems with some exchanges and that reports of frequent disconnections are not borne out by its logs. It also appears that Clear local service customers can't yet dial 0867 numbers.

Ihug is playing down problems with Telecom's new 0867 dial-in Internet numbers.

Ihug recently agreed to adopt the numbers after negotiations with Telecom, which will soon begin charging users two cents a minute for any Internet calls made to a standard number, rather than 0867 or its 0873 IPNet service.

A message of the day posted last week said Ihug was "aware that many customers are still having problems" dialling one of the new 0867 numbers and that a 60-page report on the issue from Telecom was still with Telecom's legal department.

The message also hinted at what may be Clear Communications' much-rumoured way of getting around Telecom's 0867 edict. It said Ihug had been informed by Clear that customers who had Clear as their default toll provider would have to dial 059 before the new number and that "customers who have Clear as their local phone provider will have to continue to dial our existing local numbers."

Ihug director Tim Wood said yesterday the problem with dial-in was migration of 0867, "with some of the exchanges not being provisioned with the new number."

Some customers in Ihug's own newsgroups have reported frequent disconnections on the new numbers. Wood said he had checked with Ihug's network operations centre and asked for statistics on the number of disconnects "and they are normal. It may well be that people are blaming the new number for something that happens all the time."

Wood said that as far as he was aware the exchange problems had been sorted out.

Ihug customers connecting to one of the affected exchanges, Upper Hutt, have meanwhile had little joy from Telecom. One reported calling Telecom's faults service only to find that "not one of

the operators at Telecom knew about the 0867 network, and [they] tried to deny there were such numbers."

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