Voyager has beaten up to four other contenders to become Microsoft's "preferred ISP" for as many as 2000 customers migrating from the local end of Microsoft Network, which has now been closed down.
Microsoft New Zealand announced earlier this year that it would get out of connectivity, in line with MSN's global move towards being a content service. Since then, Microsoft staff from three countries have assessed the merits of prospective sucessors.
"We tested several ISPs on hardware, infrastructure and performance, and on their connectivity to the MSN site in the US," says Microsoft New Zealand's Internet business manager, Terry Allen. "We also looked at the provision of help and support for migrating users--basically, all the things that would make the process as painless as possible."
Allen won't confirm the number of customers involved in the switch, but says that some MSN customers will already have other connectivity options with local ISPs. Those who choose not to take up the deal Microsoft has brokered with Voyager will be eligible for three free months of MSN content, which would otherwise cost US$6.95 a month.