Home | Today's Headlines | Contact | New Sites | Job Centre | Investment Centre

Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 23 April 2002

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.


From: Paul Warner
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj:  Xtra Jetstart

If Xtra goes ahead and down grades their "broadband"
further towards 3rd world status I will jump ship to
another ISP.  I can live with a 10Gig cap but not 5Gig.

I just hope this is an Xtra thing and not a Telecom edict
that they will force on all other ISPs.

From: Joe
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Jetstream 'Starter'

Interesting article..I wonder if, since its
call 'Jetstream' if they will allow static IP addresses.
Also of note, I thought 'Jetstream Starter' was Jetsteam
Home 400. I also wonder if they are trying to hand-off to
would-be new users the fact that most that hear 'Jetstream'
would think it is full speed DSL.

I got kind of a nice surprize from Telecom the other day
(will wonders ever cease) when I checked my usage of my
Jetstream 600 (600M cap) and saw it had been changed to
Home 1000. After calling Telecom, I was told that all Home
600 users are now Home 1000 (1GB traffic) at the same

So they increase Jestream by 400M a month and axe Jetstarts
Flat Rate. I myself can't see why anyone would want thier
data provider as Xtra, I also hope my ISP dosen't follow
suit and tell me I no longer have flatrate. (I also have
Jetstart via my ISP) All does not bode well for the 'Vapor
Knowledge Economy' that the gov't states is so critical to
NZ. We are quickly heading to be a third or forth world
country as far as the internet is concerned.

Some of my USA internet friends are crying foul now that
thier free-ride is over soon download/bandwidth wise. Once
some ISP's in the USA start capping and charging for 'over-
usage'. But what better way to stop 'piracy' the recording
industry is yelling about, but to make it to expensive to
download largish files. We all might as well go back to a
modem and like it, as far as most business are concerned.

But you know someone is lining thier pockets at the users
expense..but such is history..

From: Vincent
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Data Capping.

I wholly agree with your point. Admittedly I haven't
considered caching in that light. That is 'charging for a
service they didn't provide', getting the content
I have yet to read their policy fine print but if they
state 'international' traffic, then I would expect a
summary in my next bill of Local and International.
They can now save even more international traffic by
caching streaming content with RealProxy.
I would be prepared to join any action.
Bring on the case.

From: Brian Harmer
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Jetstream Caps

The 5 GB cap on whatever it is that Jetstart is now called
is vastly more generous than the miserable .5 GB on
Jetstream 500 and 1 GB on Jetstream 1000, with a 20c/MB
charge for excess usage. I just don't understand the
rationale. What's more, they are constrained by their
software (they say) from upgrading between plans except on
month "anniversary" of your contract!

Oh how I wish Telstra/Clear would get off their butts and
run the cable up my street!

From: Dave Dustin
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Xtra's JetStream Starter

Looking at the page on Xtra regarding their JetStart
service, it would appear you cannot track usage of the
JetStream Starter package.

Only the JetStream Home 500 and 1000 accounts are listed
beside the link to the JetStream Usage page.

If this were so, then Xtra are offering a capped service
with no way to track usage.  Yay!

From: Craig Box
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Reply to Chris Barton you might be interested in

To: chris_barton@nzherald.co.nz

Hi Chris,

A couple of points that I'd like you to consider in light of
your current articles.

I use Jetstart on an ISP that is not Xtra, and regularly get
16KB/s.  I can get almost 16KB/s in the other direction as
well (it should be theoretically impossible to send and
receive at 16KB/s full time due to fact that TCP/IP has to
receive acknowledgements for every packet it sends, and vice

Xtra blamed their bandwidth problems on P2P apps such as
Morpheus and Kazaa.  The problem was actually their
incorrect provisioning of bandwidth. I have friends that
were Xtra customers getting less than 1KB/s, changed to
another ISP and instantly went up to 16KB/s.  The problem
was nothing to do with their line, as it was rumoured
Telecom suggested, because the user could change between
connections on the same equipment - Xtra 1KB/s downloads,
other ISP, same site, 16KB/s.

Regarding your classification of heavy Net users as
'vampires', let me clarify something very important that
everyone seems to be overlooking.

A standard PC modem is 56Kbps, a theoretical maximum of
7KBps.  Multiply that up to a day and you get 604,800Kb
(590Mb) per day.   That's almost 18GB in a month.
A second phone line costs around $35 a month, and a flat
rate dial up account costs under $30*, making this form of
'always on' connection cheaper than "Xtra JetStream
Starter".  It runs at only half the speed, however someone
with this could download up to the 5GB cap in 10 days.  This
person is using more bandwidth in a month than a "Xtra
JetStream Starter" customer who stays within their 5GB
limit.  And for an "Xtra JetStream Starter" customer to
download the 18GB they could have downloaded had they not
spent $400 on a DSL modem and $200 on installation, to be
given sub-modem speeds, would cost $1331 above the $70
monthly cost.

This user is also connecting over the analogue phone
network; meaning their call contributes to overloading of
exchanges, and could (in a very contrived example!)
potentially be the difference between a 111 call succeeding
and failing.

Remember, Xtra are not the only ISP in the country.  Even
users who aren't 'vampires' (and I for one object to the use
of the term) will be changing away from Xtra in droves after
this announcement.  Do you remember the public outroar when
Ihug said that their flat rate Internet account was being
limited to 350 hours a month?  They eventually had to change
their story and retract the statement, implying that it was
meant for Australian customers when it was clearly sent to
customers at, and from the address, ihug.co.nz.

Craig Box
Happy JetStart customer on a non-monopolistic ISP.  There's
a list of them at

* Xtra's products page says "With the Xtra Value Pack you
can connect and surf as much as you like plus you get other
benefits all for one fixed monthly price of $27.95".  It is
linked to with the phrase "Flat rate", which is also used in
several places on their web site.

From: Dominic
For : Right Of Reply (for publication)
Subj: Changing DSL service from Telecom

In some ways I am sad; in other ways, I'm not surprised.

It's clear that broadband makes video sharing practical and
feasible. It's clear broadband enables many activities that
otherwise would not be attempted.

In the US, the development of data caps and reducing the
transfer rate will reduce copyright problems - but won't
stop it.

Also, telcos are after income. They put themselves in a
disadvantageous relationship with fixed fee internet. If
the vision in the telly proggie "Earth: Final Conflict"
(TV4?, Sat, 9.25pm) is an indication (set in 2020 I
believe), we'll be living most of our lives via the
Internet. All TV programming will be broadcast via it. If
all I'd pay is $50 / month and I could use the INternet
till I dropped, Telecom could never, ever please it's
shareholders. Why doesn't Telecom ditch the shareholder
system and in it's place, put a system that is sensitive to
the economy of the future? And relates to the relevance of
broadband connectivity to the form of living produced by
its use? (er, not sure if that makes sense.....)

The new charging structure will make my life in that time
difficult. Quite frankly, I couldn't survive.

I am open to paying for data; I'd prefer to pay .20c per
250MB, rather than per 1MB. Anyone in Telecom reading this?

From: Kurt Häusler
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Difference between you and a record company

Hello.  The editor places his material on the web, in the
hope that people will see it, he knows beforehand, that such
things as web caches operate to boost the performance of the
net, and they function by storing data for retransmission.

IMHO caching is not republishing, the ISP charges not for
the content you produce, but the infrastructure used to
deliver it, on your behalf, to your viewers.

The record companies dont place their material on the web,
it is first copied by someone else. I see know common ground
between the 2 scenarios.

But don't get me wrong, I am not anti-piracy.  I have
certain moral obligations against seeing my money follow the
path through record companys, through the us govenrment via
taxes, and then on to fund the murder of palestinians in the
middle east.

Call it my own form of boycott. Hell, I would feel much more
guilty paying for music, or any of the many tv shows or
movies I download at a rate of 2 Gigs per day through my
uncapped, flatrate, 1Mbps, 25 euros per month, German TDSL
connection :)

From: Ian O
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: International charging test?

Anyone want to try a test on Telecom's international charges? Get a mate
in the USofA to set up a sizable file at an FTP site and make it available
for a short period, enough for sufficent locals to download a copy to
ensure it has been copied to Telecom's Proxy server(s).

Then arrange for it to be removed from the US site and continue
downloading it. If it appears on anyone's bill locally, it should be at
the local rate, not the international rate, since it no longer exists

This assumes of course that the Proxy servers don't check on the validity
of what they're offering, which is unlikely if Bruce's experience with
Aardvark is anything to go by.

This may be simplistic, but it would be interesting to see Telecom with an
eggy face.

Hit Reload For Latest Comments

Now Have Your Say

Home | Today's Headlines | Contact | New Sites | Job Centre | Investment Centre