Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
According to a story on IDG
today, Telecom are trying to give away two months worth of JetStream access
to new customers.
Telecom are denying that the offer represents acknowledgement that the service
isn't quite the success it hoped for.
It's probably just coincidence that my mailbox has been slowly filling with
complaints from JetStream users in parts of Wellington who claim they've been
intermittently without service since sometime yesterday.
One writer says "When I contacted Paradise (my ISP) around 5:30, they said
they had been unable to get hold of anybody at Telecom all night."
At the same time, I've been pulling my hair out as the throughput of my
dial-up connection continues to decline. These days I'm lucky if I can get download
speeds of better than 15Kbps a second and the little light which indicates
that packets are being resent due to errors is flashing like a disco-strobe.
It's not like I live in the furthest recesses of NZ's rural backblocks -- I'm
just an hour from Auckland in an area that has an increasingly high density
Despite the fact I get perfect TV reception, the mail is delivered every day,
have good 021 and 025 cellphone coverage, and the Telecom fibre-optic cable runs within
1.5Kms of my doorstep -- the throughput I get from my US Robotics Courier
V-everything modem is less than one third of that which most people expect from
a dial-up connection these days.
I wonder if, before they start giving away JetStream for free, Telecom might like
to pay attention to the fact that there are still a lot of us who simply
can't get any kind of half-decent Internet connection, let alone a hi-speed
However, if Telecom really wants to increase the uptake of its DSL service
here are a few things that might work...
Firstly, review your pricing. Broadband DSL in New Zealand is outrageously
expensive and JetStream Starter is *not* broadband -- it's little better than
double the performance of a V90 dial-up connection.
Secondly, instead of wasting money by giving away two months free access,
why not apply that money to sorting out the problems which still plague the
service? One can't help but get the feeling that this "give away" offer
is simply a case of temporarily adjusting the price of the product to
match the public perception of its actual value -- $0/month.
Thirdly, when you can't provide a decent DSL broadband service to a particular
area (such as where I live) due to the condition of the lines, why not throw
a wireless node on the cabinet and offer broadband WiFi access? Surely that's
not going to be hellishly expensive and it has the potential to significantly
increase your potential market-size at a relatively low cost.
Let's face it, if as is claimed in the IDG article, the current level of
DSL uptake in areas where it's available is just 5% then there's got to be
something very wrong with the structure, pricing or performance of Telecom's
Giving people a two-month free trial to discover that it has problems and
is overpriced doesn't seem like a very smart way to market the product
Yes, it really does seem as if Telecom has a product and an attitude that
is so good they simply can't give it away.
Have your say.
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