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Requiescat in cyberspace [Aug. 9th, 2008|06:49 pm]
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |Invercargill]
[mood |coldcold]

IHUG, 1994 - 1.8.2008.

It shows how few people are left who take any notice of the Internet Home User Group that the news that the IHUG brand name was to cease to exist on 1st August excited little, if any, comment.

My internet first became part of IHUG in 1997 when IHUG bought out the Efficient Software Internet Service, shortly after our tribe had signed up to them. (Those reading this who remember my old email addresses will remember that they ended with @es.co.nz). After a few teething problems (including a period of a few months in late 1997 / early 1998 when the number of subscribers in Invercargill far exceeded the number of modems available at the local exchange - which is when I started getting in the habit of reading my email at the crack of dawn) the company settled down and supplied a fairly decent Internet service.

However, things started heading downhill when the company's original founders - Tim ("Katndahat") and Nick Wood - sold the business; it became, in fairly rapid succession, tig.com.au, was bought out by iinet.com.au, and eventually became owned by vodafone.co.nz. Although the rot had already begun to set in by the time Vodafone acquired the company - for example, connection speeds, which had previously been fairly reliably averaging 50kbps, dropped catastrophically during 2005 and have averaged less than half that (32kbps on a good day, 4.8 kbps on a bad day) since then - their incompetence at managing an Internet business (their so-called "helpdesk" being perhaps the most worthless example of the species ever - hour plus waits for an answer and when you do get an answer there's a good chance it's someone who can't even speak English) proved the brand's downfall. Whereas IHUG had historically been the best performing "big" internet provider in consumer surveys, in the most recent one (published earlier this year), they were at second bottom in the country, with only the almost universally loathed Telecom's Xtra brand coming below them.

Things have got to the stage where there's nothing keeping me at Vodafone any longer - not even the IHUG name remains to provide any continuity. I'm already hosting my web site elsewhere - bringing up http://crash.ihug.co.nz/~jollian/ (for however long crash.ihug.co.nz still exists) should (if I've uploaded the right file) bring up a link to its new location. Most of my email ends up being sent to addresses my brother owns and forwarded to wherever I'm getting my email from at the time. The only hurdle to get over now is pricing: IHUG's $28 or thereabouts a month might not have been cheap, but the best deal I've been able to find for a vaguely decent Internet service anywhere else has been about $80 a month (from Snap). Whether or not I'm prepared to pay $80 a month for internet will determine whether I stay on line or not, fairly much.

[User Picture]From: micheinnz
2008-08-09 08:11 am (UTC)
Take a look at Slingshot's broadband plans before you make up your mind. They also have dialup for $10/month if you'd prefer to go that way.

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From: axiomatic_axe
2008-08-09 10:49 am (UTC)
You may be interested in Xnet. I'm not sure how good their help desk is (since I haven't had to use it since I started using them), but they seem to be fairly decent. (If you do sign up with Xnet, please tell them that username sceptic sent you to them).

One good thing about Xnet is that you can set a completely arbitrary data cap, and not pay more than that in any month (and often pay less when you don't reach that cap).
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[User Picture]From: baphnedia
2008-08-09 02:34 pm (UTC)
Always seems that when a company goes under new management, if they don't hold on to it long enough and develop what they own, everyone suffers...
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[User Picture]From: aeb
2008-08-10 01:50 am (UTC)
Looking for a new provider can be terribly frustrating. I hope you find something good and not too expensive. {Smile, cross fingers}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-08-30 10:04 am (UTC)

Look at all the info

Make sure you compare apples with apples. You're paying $28/mo for dial-up with Snap, paying $80/mo with Snap (and most others except Telecom/Voda/Telstra) will give you either huge slabs of FS broadband or naked DSL, either of which doesn't compare to dialup!

Far better to compare $28/mo dial-up with $30/mo broadband from Snap (or others). Also listen to your brother who knows what he's talking about :)

- the younger but somehow wiser one...
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2008-08-30 10:53 am (UTC)

Re: Look at all the info

What I was looking at with Snap was "Broadband C": 20 GB at (49.95 (-10.00 + 42.00) = 81.95 per month. Hardly "huge slabs" considering the Americans are whinging about being capped at 250 GB per month.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-08-31 04:29 am (UTC)

Re: Look at all the info

Broadband C is $49.95 + phone line. Your dial up is $28 + phone line.

So the comparison is $28 -> $50, not $28 -> $80 ;)

Anyway seeing you're taking the jump from dial up I'd go for a small plan and see how you go - always easier to upgrade!
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2008-09-07 11:22 am (UTC)

Re: Look at all the info

Actually the web page says there's a $10 per month discount with the phone line which would make it $39.95 plus the $42 (or whatever the phone line costs).

Problem with taking a small plan at the start is that I don't want to spend hours on the phone to Bombay to someone who can't speak intelligible English trying to get the account upgraded to whatever is available at the time.
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