Christchurch-based ISP tpNet has "categorically denied" rumours that it may have to go into receivership in the wake of the tightening of the South Island Internet access market caused by the Ihug-ES merger and the launch of Clear Net.
A recent tpNet newsletter thanked customers for their support while the Internet industry was "in a state of flux" and said that "Telcos entering the market with million dollar budgets make it difficult (or should I say close to impossible) for the small ISP to compete". It said the company would be "endeavouring to differentiate ourselves from the big players by finding those niche markets that they can't service very well". Users of tpNet's flat-rate Gold account were also told that usage over 60 hours a month will now incur a $2 hourly charge.
The company's Webmaster, John Scott Russell, told @IDG that although more of its business was now coming from the corporate Internet market, it had no plans to quit the consumer ISP business.
"I'm flat out at the moment with our Web and intranet business, but the Internet access business is still lucrative--or we wouldn't be in it." Christchurch's large tourist sector is "ideal" for the Web, he says, and many of tpNet's commercial pages are from that industry.
Meanwhile, an unnamed Christchurch ISP advertised for sale is thought to be NetAccess Ltd. @IDG’s calls to the company's manager were not returned.