Aardvark Daily aardvark (ard'-vark) a controversial animal with a long probing nose used for sniffing out the facts and stimulating thought and discussion.

NZ's leading source of Net-Industry news and commentary since 1995
Australasia's "New Economy" News And Commentary Site
Today's Headlines | Contact | New Sites | Press Bin | Job Centre | News Search
IHUG Trims Costs -- Will Others Follow? 11 October 2000 Edition
Previous Edition

As reported here yesterday, IHUG has announced intentions to trim its workforce by up to 60 and "refocus" on core activities -- is this the start of a trend?

The falling Kiwi dollar is cited by IHUG as the key force behind the moves announced yesterday but one can't help but wonder if the recent plummeting cost of flat-rate dial-up Net access hasn't got just as much to do with it.

Remember -- it wasn't long ago that the benchmark rate for flat-rate access was around $40 a month -- now it's fallen below $30. That's a big hit for any business to take.

Of course the proliferation of "free" ISPs has had a significant effect on driving the price of pay-for-access ISP prices too -- but, as suggested previously in this column, I think the days when we have a choice of several such free services are very numbered.

Readers Say
No Comments Yet Today
Have Your Say
As the false gilding continues to wear off Net-related businesses, investors and shareholders are demanding that more attention is paid to creating some good old fashioned profits. The 1999, model where nobody cared about profits so long as they could sell their shares for more than they paid for them are well and truly over.

Even Telecom, that juggernaut of the local ISP industry must be feeling the pain -- its shareprice significantly down from those halcion highs experienced a year or so ago.

The next few months will be very telling and could see other ISPs rationalising their resources and refocusing their activities.

Talking Of The Internet
Yahoo! made an interesting announcement today (see the link in the news section below).

They're continuing to diversify by getting onboard the voice bandwagon -- offering a whole range of voice-related services over the Internet and by phone.

One of the most intriguing is the ability to ring a toll-free number and have your new email read to you over the phone. That has to have appeal for those people who are always on the move and who can't afford or won't use a WAP phone.

They're also offering something which I think is long overdue in this country -- the ability to make long distance phone over the Net calls through your PC. Yes, I know you can use Net2Phone and a raft of other software packages -- but I've always been surprised that one of the main ISPs hasn't taken advantage of its own network to offer a service such as this for free -- as a "unique selling feature" to customers.

Of course Telecom has leveraged it's strength in the toll market to help sell its flat-rate XTRA service by bundling a special toll package with new signups -- a move that more than a couple of Aardvark readers have suggested is decidedly anti-competitive.

However, both IHUG and now ClearNet (as of this am) are also offering special voice deals to lure users to their internet access services.

One thing we can be sure of -- the Net-access market is getting increasingly competitive and that spells good news for users -- up to a point.

The risk we face is that the competition becomes so fierce that only a tiny number of big players survive and that risks the formation of the kind of cartels we see in the area of banking and petrol.

That Draft Paper On The New Economy
Thanks to all those who have already contributed their comments, critiques and suggestions to the draft paper on fostering a "new economy" I've published on the politics.co.nz website.

Surprisingly enough I've had several emails from citizens of other countries including the USA, England and Australia who have all said that such policies wouldn't go astray in strengthening their own "new economy" activities.

If you've not yet voiced your opinion then please tell me what you think.

Thanks also to those who have sent emails acknowledging that I've contributed some help to their own "new economy" enterprises. I could do with more -- remember that I want to be recognised as someone who's doing his best to stimulate this new economy and not just as a critic of existing policies.

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

Latest
Security Alerts
Bug hunter finds another hole in Microsoft IE browser CNet

Microsoft issues new patch for Windows 2000 Telnet security hole (Computerworld)

Windows ME Bugged by Flaw (Wired)

Microsoft adjusts sign-on feature to patch Windows 2000 (CNet)

Word documents susceptible to "Web bug" infestation (CNet)

Trojan horse rears its head on Palms (CNet)

Latest
Virus Alerts
UBS warns of new virus (CNN)

Killer Virus Streaming Near You (InternetNews)

'Pokey' virus hits U.S. (CNN)

Bookmark This Page Now!

Sites In Trouble
Kibu.com
WebMD.com
Garden.com
MTVi
Miadora.com

 

MORE NEWS
NZL Sites
IDG.Net.nz
NZ Netguide
NZ Herald Tech
PC World NZ
Scoop
NZ.Internet.com

AUS Sites
Fairfax IT
Australian IT
AFR Tech
AUS Netguide
NineMSN Tech
APC Magazine
Corporate IT

USA Sites
Wired.com
CNet
CNNfn Tech
TechWeb
Yahoo Tech
ZDNet Tech
USA Today Tech
7am.com SciTech

UK Sites
The Register
BBC SciTech

 

The Day's Top News
4 = open in new window
New Zealand

4  NZ urged to follow Israel
New Zealand should heed Israel's transformation into a technology force and launch a strong Government-backed fund to help the country's entrepreneurs towards global success, a panel of local technology experts said yesterday...
NZ Herald

4  Clear woos free ISP customers to voice
Clear's Zfree add-on is a no-frills tolls service, charged in 15-minute periods, 24 hours a day...
IDG NZ

4  Hitwise goes live
Net statistics service Hitwise officially launched yesterday after two months of testing...
Stuff

4  $300m 'taken from Telecom'
The telecommunications inquiry report was confiscating more than $300 million from Telecom and handing it to consumers and Telecom's competitors, ACT NZ MP Stephen Franks said yesterday...
Stuff

Other

4  New IBooks Slower? Not So Fast
Tests indicate that the latest portable Macintoshes trail their predecessors in performance. But it's a popular benchmark, and not the computers, that needs retooling...
Wired

4  Lycos now downloads music
Online media network Lycos Inc. announced Tuesday that its Lycos Music Internet site has begun selling digital downloads of music by Santana, Christina Aguilera and other BMG Entertainment recording artists...
CNNfn

4  DotTV, Lycos Consortium Bid for Domain Names
A consortium of dotTV, Lycos Inc. , XO Communications, OnlineNIC, SK Telecom and 7DC are bidding for the .pro and .nom domain names, the companies said in a joint statement...
Yahoo

4  Chip inventor scores Nobel Prize
Jack Kilby, who won half the Nobel Prize in physics for his part in the invention of the computer chip, says he is surprised by the award...
CNet

Australia

4  Solution 6 feels heat over weak dollar
Technology companies should not be blamed for the poor performance of Australia's dollar, says the software company...
NewsWire

4  Spectrum sale snub to hurt government
Telstra and AAPT are out of the Australian Federal Government's 3.4 gigahertz spectrum auction without lodging a bid...
Fairfax

4  Fresh bid on gaming moratorium
THE Federal Government will make another attempt to introduce an online gambling moratorium, after its bill was defeated in Senate...
Australian IT

4  Scholastic carves out Internet strategy
The world's largest children's book publisher has launched its first online venture in Australia...
NewsWire

Other

4  Intel Starts Net 'Streaming' in Europe
U.S. computer chip maker Intel Corp said on Tuesday it was moving into Europe with its Internet media business that will let customers transmit anything from movies to conferences on the Net...
Yahoo

4  Yahoo! Launches Free Phone Service
Flexing its muscle on a new Internet battlefield, Yahoo! Inc. is launching a free telephone service that enables users to call and have their e-mail, news and other information read to them....
AP

4  Microsoft makes nice with pirates
Software behemoth asks people to kindly hand over their pirated software booty -- and even offers to replace it with free software...
ZDNet

4  Critics of Internet board: ICANN can't
For a $50,000 non-refundable fee, 47 companies sent proposals to ICANN for new top-level domains. Then the EU got one for free...
ZDNet


Looking For More News or Information?

Google
Search WWW Search Aardvark
Try the Aardvark News Search page or look here.co.nz

Copyright © 2000, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request