Telecom's broadband hitch no deal breaker

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2012

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Telecom customers may have been frustrated by a series of faults that have plagued its broadband service in the past two days.

However, analysts believe they are likely to quickly forget.

About two-thirds of Telecom's 500,000 customers were unable to use broadband in the early hours of Monday and again for a short while later that morning.

The gremlins struck for a third time yesterday morning, affecting tens of thousands of customers.

Telecom spokeswoman Jo Jalfon said it could not guarantee there would not be more outages this week.

"What we can guarantee, however, is that these incidents are being fully reviewed with a view to improving our customer experience . . . " she said.

IDC Research analyst Glen Saunders said the outages were bigger than normal for the industry, but broadband faults happened all the time, and he would be surprised if the problems had a long-term effect on Telecom's market share.

The Telecom chief executive, Simon Moutter, tried to draw a "line in the sand" under Telecom's retail broadband market share, about 49 per cent, in August and acted in October to dramatically lift customers' data caps to try to make its plans more competitive.

First NZ Capital analyst Greg Main also did not expect the outages would materially undermine Telecom's effort to shore up its market share.

But the telco should be marketing "a top-end service at a mid-range price", and the outages would not help with that, Main said.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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