Wave offers lifeline to Midland castaways

Wave Internet Services has made an offer to former customers of Midland Internet, in the wake of collapses which have left Wave the Waikato's last independent dial-up ISP. Midland, which withdrew from dial-up Internet services late last month, originally told its fewer than 400 subscribers that it had negotiated an agreement to transfer them to another Hamilton ISP, Jets Internet. It seems now that Jets, too, has gone out of business.

Wave Internet Services has made an offer to former customers of Midland Internet, in the wake of collapses which have left Wave the Waikato's last independent dial-up ISP.

Midland, which withdrew from dial-up Internet services late last month, originally told its fewer than 400 subscribers that it had negotiated an agreement to transfer them to another Hamilton ISP, Jets Internet.

Jets subsequently wrote to the Midland customers telling them that the deal had not worked out and asking them to hold on while another arrangement was considered. It seems now that Jets, too, has gone out of business. Its Website and dial-up numbers are both unavailable.

David Southall, managing director of Wave's parent company, CSE, says Midland's management have subsequently come to see him.

"We couldn't agree to carry over (Midland's) flat-rate pricing structure - we didn't think that was wise," says Southall. "But we do have their customer database and we're offering to drop the inital connection fee to help ease them over."

Wave is also "toying with the idea" of taking over the midland.co.nz domain - which currently can not be resolved - to further aid Midland customers.

Meanwhile, former Midland staff have formed Frontier Net, a company specialising in leased line business. The domain frontier.net.nz was registered on October 3, in the name of Midland head Alan Scott. Craig McKenna, technical contact for the domain, told Computerworld nobody would be available to comment on Midland's business and could not say whether the company was in receievership.

Apart from former customers seeking connectivity, Computerworld is aware of one Midland customer who has been unable to return a faulty modem bought from the company.

The shakeout leaves Wave, which has 3500 customers and recently completed significant technical upgrades to its system, with only the National ISPs Xtra, Ihug and Clear Net for competition in the Waikato region.

"We haven't seen a decline in numbers since we started," says Southall. "We've actually had to control growth for some of that time. We're very much here for the long haul."

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