Auckland pair offer pared down Net access

It costs just $35 a month to get Internet access through new Auckland-based provider Sinesurf--but don't expect any help if you get stuck on the World Wide Web.

It costs just $35 a month to get Internet access through new Auckland-based provider Sinesurf--but don't expect any help if you get stuck on the World Wide Web.

Two Ponsonby women are offering Internet access in a format which has been growing in popularity in the United States.

Zara Meanwell and Julie Kerr say their newly launched company has been set up as an "Internet access provider" as opposed to an Internet service provider.

Meanwell says that means customers should not expect customer support. "The help desk is a huge financial drain. Julie and I decided to provide access only, with no help. This means we can provide basic Internet services for $35 including GST a month," Meanwell says. ISPs typically charge around $40 a month with help desk services.

The service is aimed at users familiar with the Internet. However, Meanwell says Sinesurf's customers will not be left totally without support.

"If there are any technical problems with our service, obviously we are going to provide help for our customers. It's help in the sense of 'How do I use Netscape?' that causes a drain on resources."

Initially, Sinesurf will begin operating with 400 dial-in lines, which were installed by Telecom last week. Though not all of them will be connected from day one, Meanwell says it is better to have the resources available than be caught short at a later date. "We decided to get the 400 lines in now so we won't have the big delays which other companies have had. After a while, we will know what our sign-up rate is, so we are prepared well in advance," Meanwell says.

Reach Sinesurf via email at geekgirl@sinesurf.co.nz.

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