Voyager unveils one-stop connectivity scheme

Voyager has teamed up with Datacraft and Cisco to offer a one-stop product aimed at helping small and medium-sized business make the jump to IP and Ethernet. The new rental scheme from the Auckland-based ISP aims to overcome the cost factors that prevent such businesses from connecting to the Internet.

Voyager has teamed up with Datacraft and Cisco to offer a one-stop product aimed at helping small and medium-sized business make the jump to IP and Ethernet.

The new offering from the Auckland-based ISP offers 18, 24 and 36-month rental deals on customer premises equipment. Terms start at $80 monthly for installation and onsite maintenance (by Datacraft) of a Cisco 800 router, rising to $190 monthly for a Cisco 1720 for larger companies requiring dedicated access. Line costs and online charges (starting at $8 an hour) are extra.

"Our research indicates that cost is the primary reason for small business not connecting," says Voyager's corporate sales manager David Venables.

"People acknowledge [Internet] as a business tool, but if they're going to be faced with $3000 to $4000 for a router and then installation and then maintenance, that dissuades them. So what we're looking at is removing that as a barrier. There's no cost up front."

The package also offers a "technology refresh" option after a year, where 60% of rental payments go into new hardware and the rental period is extended to cover costs.

Although Voyager has no public plans to offer DSL connectivity, Cisco's Roger De Salis says future upgrades to DSL present no obstacle: "There is a matching DSL product. We've got DSL working in this country already on Cisco equipment. Hardware support is here, we've had trial units, it works. We don't see it as an issue."

De Salis says the Voyager scheme, which has been developed by the three companies over the past few months, "is about the fact that customers really want to buy IP and Internet. And by moving the CPE to Voyager, it allows customers to get away from decisions about whether they want to deal with frame relay or ATM and all the other things that Telecom wants to sell them. Customers want to buy IP and Ethernet. And that's what this is about."

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