The New Zealand Xtra or Xtra
Limited is the country’s largest ISP or Internet
service provider and it is entirely owned as Telecom
New Zealand’s subsidiary. Xtra provides several
internet services such as dial-up and ADSL
connections inside New Zealand and has continued
doing so ever since its inauguration in the middle
of the 1990s.
Xtra is a name also employed to refer to the
separate unit Yahoo!Xtra which a combined business
enterprise web portal connecting Telecom and Yahoo!.
It was formed in 2006 of December taking the place of
XtraMSN web portal and provides additional perks for
customers of Xtra broadband.
Telecom let go of the brand name Xtra in 2008 from services
and products, utilizing Telecom instead. It was then
referred to as Telecom broadband.
From the inception of Xtra, it has been servicing dial-up
internet all over New Zealand. Telecom produced the only
ADSL in New Zealand in 1999.
Telecom afterward permitted other internet service
providers to hook up to its ADSL networks because of
increasing pressure from the public and the
government. Currently, it is generally thought that
Telecom has given unjust and noncompetitive
conditions of trade concerning its across-the-board
ADSL services, and many say that it remains to do
As Telecom New Zealand’s subsidiary, Xtra has held a
certain amount of monopoly of its mother company.
For many, this state of affairs is seen as an unjust
gain over other internet service providers. Several
lobbyists, together with the CEO of Slingshot,
Annette Presley, have convinced Communications
Ministry of New Zealand to compel the unbundling of
the local loop of Telecom, so as to create fairer
terms of trading and decrease the monopoly of the
ISP of Xtra.
In 2001, the ISP of New Zealand, Actrix, together
with Xtra succeeded in a High Court restriction to
get them off the ORBS (Open Relay
Behavior-modification System), a blacklist for
anti-spam controlled by Alan Brown.
It had been in the black book of IP addresses
concerning open mail relays that can be taken
advantage of by spammers to launch unwanted bulk
e-mail. Organizations in the hundreds subscribed to
the listing, even Bigfoot.com and another provider
of free mail. They discarded e-mail from any ORBS
listed IP address.
Indirectly, this court action caused the death of
one of the oldest services of DNSBL.
The “Go Large" plan of Xtra in November 2006 was
introduced in the country as the first completely
unlimited ADSL service of New Zealand; nevertheless
there was a lot of public disappointment and
criticism at the flux and overall slowness of the
recently offered plan.
It was marketed to have unlimited usage of data and utmost
speed. What was not mentioned in the ads, however, was the
fact that there a policy of fair use and management traffic
which restricted clients to a limit on download between 4 in
the afternoon and 12 midnight. If the user were to
habitually go over this limit, they would be transferred to
a "download pool" or be sent offers to change to a different
plan. This started a lot of attention from the media
prompting the launch of an investigation.