It's out there, it's large, it's alive and it is just biding its time--Clear's new Internet network, that is.
A network profile compiled by @IDG does suggest some significant differences from Telecom's Xtra strategy. Unless a new brand is being kept very well hidden, the service seems likely to go out under Clear's own branding.
Although the infrastructure, which uses a Waikato gateway, seems extensive, we could only detect a single Ascend Max hub, which accounts for only 60 dial-in lines--enough for a trial but few enough to suggest that Clear will not initially go for the mass market as Telecom Xtra chose to. Other sources indicate that Clear will not immediately enter a price war with Telecom and will concentrate on the business market.
The service will presumably be launched before the Auckland computer show Clear is sponsoring from November 22-24. The company has a large, hands-on "Internet experience" stand advertised.
As of now, @IDG has discovered more than two dozen live machines within a large block of IP addresses reserved by Clear. These include nameservers, firewalls, hubs, routers, mail, news, Web, ftp, and proxy servers and a registration server.
Clear appears to have learned from Telecom's experiences, and although we were able to use Clear's own nameservers, security was tight.
Indeed, within an hour of trying to access some Clear sites, we received a note from the system's root user informing us that our access had shown up in logs and that "The site will be going live in due course and access will be allowed after this date. Unlike some telcos we do have a working security system :-)."
Clear's security system allowed us to dig out the following machine names:
*stingray.isp.clear.co.nz (Web server)
*maggie.clear.co.nz (mail server)
*max1.isp.clear.co.nz (Ascend hub)