Hunterlink falls in regional ISP scramble

The scramble by bigger ISPs for customers in regional growth markets continued last week as one of the Hunter Valley's largest internet access players, Hunterlink, was acquired by buyout king, Pacific Internet Australia -- a local division of the Nasdaq-listed company.

Newcastle-based Hunterlink will bolster Pacific Internet's subscriber base by about 10,000 and provide founders Chris Deere and Hugo Steiner with a nice little windfall.

Hunterlink is the latest acquisition by Pacific Internet which has also picked off Zip World (in Sydney), Mira Networking (Melbourne), Zeta Internet (Sydney), Hub Communications (Brisbane) and Hunterlink (Townsville) since launching in 1999.