BREAKING NEWS: Xtra confirms flat rate, takes on Ihug

Xtra has launched its flat-rate Internet access plan - and come in significantly under the benchmark set by flat-rate pioneer Ihug. New pricing information added to the Xtra site around noon today offers flat-rate dial-up access for $39.95 a month, including GST. This will go up against Ihug's GST-inclusive $45 and Clear Net's rate, which will not be announced until its service is launched on June 8.

Xtra has launched its flat-rate Internet access plan – and come in significantly under the benchmark set by flat-rate pioneer Ihug.

New pricing information added to the Xtra site around noon today offers flat-rate dial-up access for $39.95 a month, including GST. This will go up against Ihug's GST-inclusive $45 and Clear Net's rate, which will not be announced until its service is launched on June 8.

Ihug director Tim Wood told @IDG this week that his company would match whatever rate Xtra set. Ihug has already this week doubled the hours alowed under its $30 Sapphire plan to 60 a month, and dropped its sign-up fee from $59 to $39.

The Xtra plan comes with a number of conditions. Customers "may" be disconnected after more than 12 continuous hours online – compared to the "three hour kick" applied by Ihug when dial-in capacity is at 90% or more.

Customers are also not allowed to run servers, use static IP addresses or "provide any public information service" while connected on the flat-rate plan. Additional users can, however, dial in on the same ID and be charge at NZPlan hourly rates.

A flat-rate ISDN plan has also be offered, but the $299 monthly rate suggests Xtra does not yet seek to be competitive at anything other than dial-up speeds.

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