RealTime IT News

NZ ISP Claims Regional Providers

New Zealand ISP ihug has acquired Australian ISPs One Earth and Interweb, as part of its new expansion strategy.

The purchases will add more than 10,000 subscribers to ihug's customer base, aiding its aggressive plan to increase presence in Australia.

One Earth currently services Sydney Internet users, while Interweb is focused on Adelaide. ihug intends to guide both to increase their reach, with One Earth spreading to the Victorian border and the regional centre of Wagga. Interweb, meanwhile, will aim increase its active subscription of more than 5000 users, to pick up more of the one million potential customers within its range.

These local acquisitions follow ihug's merger last month with NZ cinema exhibitor and property developer Force Corporation.

Although the merger is yet to be approved by Force shareholders, ihug has already said it intends to use the company as a platform to launch beyond Internet service provision to also focus on film, entertainment, e-commerce telephony and digital television.

Financial details of these latest acquisitions were not disclosed.

In other ISP news, local ISP Austar United Communications has announced it is also exploring purchasing ISPs. While Austar United Broadband managing director Dana Strong declined to identify specific targets, she said the company intended to announce its acquisitions soon.

Austar is also evaluating whether to introduce broadband Internet service into capital cities.