TelstraClear is calling its meter-free weekend a success, despite a string of complaints on Twitter and other online forums, and a grilling from the CEO of a prominent internet user group.
Announcing the promotion last Monday, TelstraClear’s consumer head, Steve Jackson, acknowledged that some users would experience a slow-down during the weekend, but said he was confident the drop in speed would be compensated for by the amount of data on offer.
However, that hasn’t stopped users expressing their frustration that speed-critical activities like online gaming and video streaming were severely hindered.
"TelstraClear appear to be running a promotion where they demonstrate crappy internet,” tweeted one user, Sam Sargeant.
Vikram Kumar, CEO of InternetNZ, has also reacted, posting a blog entry labelling the promo ‘disastrous’.
"Like a starter’s gun going off, customers unleashed their suppressed demand and hit the pipes,” Kumar writes.
"TelstraClear’s network barely managed to stand up to the assault, with cable download speeds plummeting to dial-up levels.
"There is a real danger that this experiment will lead to the conclusion that current data caps are critical to allow decent internet speeds for all.”
Despite the criticism, Jackson has issued a statement saying that although 'intermittent and reduced speeds were experienced by some customers when accessing international sites not cached in New Zealand', the network here performed 'to its usual high standard'.
"This was an innovative initiative to explore new ways of offering our customers the best service that we can," Jackson says.
"The initiative highlights the importance the vast majority of kiwis place on their ability to access the internet, and offers some interesting dynamics for a future UFB world."
Did you have problems during the meter-free weekend? What are your thoughts on data caps and internet speed? Post your comments below.