Telecom says it is acting out of genuine concern for the Internet in asking customers switching from its wholesale Internet service to leave behind their IP addresses.
Telecom gained control of the bulk of New Zealand's IP addresses when it took over management of the New Zealand Internet Exchange in 1995. New Zealand companies looking to switch to other whole Internet service providers are being told they should surrender their IP addresses and get new ones.
"When companies move from one telco to another they take their IP addresses with them so their traffic has to be re-routed, says Telecom national media manager Linda Sanders. Internationally this becomes very complex and is straining the Internet's routing systems."
Sanders says APNIC (Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre), which allocates IP addresses in this region of the world, has asked the Internet community to conserve the use of IP addresses by handing them back when they switch Internet providers.
Pre-empting allegations that Telecom merely wants to make it difficult for customers to switch, Sanders says, "There is no benefit for Telecom. We see it as important in preserving the quality of the Internet."
She says Telecom has tools for dealing with firewalls and address translation to make it easier for customers to change IP addresses.