Comindico ISPs keep watching brief on developments

Comindico ISPs keep watching brief on developments

Worried ISP partners are rethinking their supply agreements following Comindico's move into receivership.

Despite recent reassurances that services would not be affected by the administration process, OzForces managing director, Chris Meder, said he had decided to transfer all ADSL customers to Telstra Wholesale.

While OzForces had used Telstra sporadically in the past, the majority of its user base had previously been serviced by Comindico, he said.

The move was a precautionary measure.

"We don't know how things will pan out, but we don't want to be left in a sinking ship," Meder said.

"We have to protect our client base."

The gaming ISP may also look to extend its relationship with AAPT, he said.

When launched two years ago, the promise of unlimited downloads was a key differentiator for the Comindico wholesale ADSL product.

Although some restrictions had since been introduced, Meder said the move had made an impact across the entire industry.

"Comindico drove the market towards the unlimited downloads model," he said.

"Everyone tripled or quadrupled their download limits."

As a result, moving customers between suppliers was no longer a major concern for ISPs.

Melbourne-based ISP Inspired Networking, also used Comindico as its primary network supplier.

The group's managing director, Ian Bergman, said it had not yet decided whether to retain the relationship.

"At this stage we're still maintaining contact, but we're keeping a watching brief," he said.

Comindico administrators, McGrathNicol, have also issued a statement claiming Dodo has affirmed its commitment to continuing to use the wholesaler's network.

Although Inspired Networking is keeping existing customers on the Comindico network for now, Bergman said all new subscribers were being signed to other Internet backbones.

Like OzForces, the ISP has several suppliers including Telstra Wholesale.

This gave the ISP the ability to port new customers based on their geographical location, as well as line availability, he said.

"This industry is in a state of flux: you have to move with it," Bergman said.

"We could easily move people around - you have to these days."

A spokesperson for Aardvark Internet said it had not yet moved any customers off the Comindico network but had contingency plans in place.

Both Meder and Bergman suggested Comindico's demise was the result of industry pressure, rather than a poor product.

Meder said he would not rule out returning to the IP-based network.

"We'll see how the new owners manage it," he said. "Once the dust is settled, we may go back; anything to break the Telstra monopoly."

Although speculation has arisen that Telstra may make a play for Comindico's assets, Meder suggested it would be Optus who could benefit most from the acquisition.

"It would give them the edge for VoIP services," he said.

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