Competition from Telecom's three-week-old Xtra Internet service is being hailed as a good thing by Dunedin-based ISP Efficient Software.
Far from battening down the hatches in the face of the telco's entry into the market, Efficient has announced its intention to start courting Christchurch subscribers.
"The way we look at the situation it is definitely good news for us because Telecom will make the Internet more mainstream and drag people on who otherwise would not have done it," says Efficient managing director Bart Kindt.
"I think what will happen is that people may sign up with Telecom initially. After a while, once they get the hang of the Internet, and when they have hopefully bothered Telecom with a lot of support calls, they will get more clever and look at the price differences and switch over. In the long, run we will benefit from it I think," Kindt says.
Efficient, which dominates the market in Otago and Southland, has made its initial move on Christchurch with 32 dial-in lines, based on a pricing structure of unlimited monthly access for $45 plus $59 set-up costs, or alternatively, a yearly charge, including set-up, of $499.
Once fully up and running, the Christchurch office will have access to the Internet via a 256kbit/s international backbone, and a high-speed DDS link to Dunedin.
"We are currently working on a system that will enable us to hopefully get free international access supplied to us in Christchurch instead of having to pay truckloads of money to get to the node in Auckland," Kindt says.
Efficient employs four staff in Dunedin, though one will soon be transferring to Christchurch to take care of the new operation.