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Dateline: 11 April 2000 Early Edition
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The Fight That Won't Die
In response to my criticism of surf4nix in yesterday's column I received an email from Surf4Nix stating their position.

As is always my policy, I'm publishing that email today as a "right of reply" so that readers can be fully informed and draw their own conclusions.

From: Aaron Brett
For : The Editor
Subj: Todays Aardvark (10-April-2000)

I read your aardvark articles every day. I think alot of what you say is very constructive but at times you seem to be far to critical of Kiwi endeavour. There are many Internet ISP models that will emerge and New Zealand is big enough and wealthy enough for more competition.

I wish to respond to today's comments.

surf4nix first announced Internet Access Free of ongoing monthly charges January 18th 2000. I recall you having alot to say about us after the Herald ran a story on surf4nix January 18th 2000.

surf4nix has always claimed that we offer Internet Access Free of ongoing monthly charges. We charge a membership/connection fee of $39.95 like many ISP's do. As well as Internet Access Free of ongoing monthly charges members recieve a number of other benefits including 10% discount of most products in our new surf4nixSuperStore.

The surf4nixSuperStore is under construction right now and will feature over 5000 computer products, over 20000 CD titles, electronics, imported and New Zealand wines, Jewellery and watches, sports equipment and more.

We are now connecting thousands of people right across New Zealand who have pre-registered with us over the last two months. We believe it was inherently sensible to delay connecting until we were completely ready to do so.

I think you should also note that i4free also charge $2 minute if you call their helpdesk. Many Free ISP's around the world charge for their helpdesks.

You also seem to be very cynical about our statement that we intend to IPO at some stage in the future. Raising capital for further expansion by way of IPO is the aspiration of many dot com businesses and in many cases the only way a dot com business can raise capital. surfnix has made a considerable investment in developing our business and our ad-serving technology. We are also about to export this New Zealand ad-serving technology to Australia, Hong Kong and India.

By the way we are well aware of the difference between the 0867 and 0873. Most of the media are reffering to the 0867 network and 0873 only confuses them further.

Copy of our Press Release sent to media on Friday including Paul Holmes. We are not looking to cash in on the 14free publicity. Of course we needed to respond as we do not agree with i4free's version of the treatment Telecom is giving FREE ISP's. What happened to our democratic right to Free speech and our right to present a different point of view.

I hope that my response is helpful in the FREE ISP debate.

Kind Regards
Aaron Brett

It seems that Ms Presley is a little less inclined to have her criticisms of my column aired in a public forum -- she still has not taken up my offer of a "right of reply."

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