ISP homes in on the South West

THE South West has been targeted by Perth-based Internet service provider iiNet with the announcement of the cash acquisition of strategically placed service providers MNS Internet Services and Comtech Internet Services.

The acquisition places iiNet as Australia’s biggest regional Internet service provider.

MNS has approximately 400 customers in the Bridgetown, Manjimup and Capel areas.

Albany-based Comtech has a client base of approximately 800.

iiNet executive director Kim Heitman said the acquisition gave the company a significant customer base in those towns and the facility to offer local call access to other parts of the expanding south west region.

He said clients of both the acquired companies would receive full credit for prepaid fees and would benefit from improved account terms, conditions and standards of service.

“These acquisitions underline our strength in WA, where we are the biggest Internet service provider by a substantial margin.

“At the same time, our client base of 40,000 ranks us among the top ten Australian ISPs.

Since listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in September 1999, the company has added Wantree, Omen Internet and Net Trek Online Services to its stable.

Mr Heitman said iiNet was also implementing an e-commerce product with St George Bank and developing an innovative voice over Internet service which would allow regional customers to contact phone support for the cost of a local call.

In another move, SBS television is to be linked to approximately 120,000 people living in the Bunbury area under plans announced by the Minister for Communications, Richard Alston.

The rollout for the South West and Great Southern regions is expected to be complete by March 2002.

The $120 million project will come from the Television Fund created from the sale of Telstra.

“The sale has given us this one-off opportunity to give more than 1.2 million regional viewers access to SBS.

Other areas in WA included in the program are Geraldton, Albany, Wagin, Kalgoorlie, Port Hedland, Broome, Karratha and Esperance.

In total, some 250,000 WA people will be able to receive the broadcasts.

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