Stephen Fry puts NZ internet providers under the kosh

By on Monday, February 20, 2012

Prolific Tweeter, Stephen Fry, has created a storm for NZ’s “most popular” internet provider, Telecom, after complaining about dire broadband capabilities while in the country filming for The Hobbit.

Fry complained about the time it was taking to upload a video before going on a multi-Tweet rant about how Kiwis should demand better.

The issue immediately became a social (and traditional) media hot potato, with Fry’s Tweets going global in no time and the NZ media jumped at the opportunity to lay into the telecoms provider.

Telecom’s social media team immediately responded, offering Fry the use of a mobile T-stick/dongle, although they subsequently conceded they hadn’t given him one because it wouldn’t have suited his needs.

This in itself sparked a backlash from NZ Tweeters who complained that “not everyone” received the same levels of customer service, complete with the hashtag #paystobefamous

Telecom offered, by way of explanation, that Fry had inadvertently exceeded the download limit of the account he was using. If users exceed NZ broadband package download limits, the service is switched to dial-up speeds, which is what he was experiencing.

This then turned the focus onto the whole subject of data caps in NZ when the rest of the Western world typically enjoys unlimited download limits. But there was still time to joke about the situation. Comedian Raybon Kan jested: “Don’t think of it as the worst broadband in the world, think of it as the best dial-up.”

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