Exetel marks 10th anniversary as ISP with new direction

CEO Richard Purdy says the company plans to remain independent

Exetel CEO Richard Purdy. Image credit: Exetel.

Exetel CEO Richard Purdy. Image credit: Exetel.

Exetel is marking its 10th year of operations as an Internet service provider by streamlining its plans and launching a rebranding campaign.

"My mantra has been simplicity," the ISP's CEO, Richard Purdy, said. Purdy stepped into the CEO role on 1 April last year, replacing Steve Waddington. Waddington had taken the reins after Exetel founder John Linton passed away in 2012.

"You'll find that all of the plans are a lot simpler," Purdy said. "We've gotten rid of hundreds of corporate plans ... and all of the plans are much, much simpler," the CEO said.

Exetel offers the same three data quotas of 100GB, 500GB or unlimited across its ADSL2+ and National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre residential plans and its small business plans. NBN plans are available on the network's three speed tiers: 12/1Mbps, 25/5Mbps and 100/40Mbps.

The cheapest NBN plan — 100GB a month at 12/1Mbps costs $49.99. The cheapest 100Mbps NBN plan costs $69.99 a month.

Purdy said that Exetel has been "one of the best kept secrets in Australia". "It grew very well when John [Linton] was in charge of it, for the nine years he developed it from nothing to a substantial business and what's now, I guess, the largest fully independent ISP in Australia if you take out all the listed ones."

Exetel has traditionally relied on word of mouth to attract customers, but Purdy said the ISP is investing in digital, outdoor and brand awareness advertising.

"Exetel] has grown so quickly without any advertising," Purdy said. "Just imagine what would happen if even just a few extra people knew about Exetel and knew about their plans and knew about the value that they can get from Exetel."

"We're not going to go out and spend a fortune like Telstra and Optus," the CEO said. "We're going to be very targeted and focused where we spend the money."

Purdy said that the NBN was "absolutely" central to the company's strategy, though he added that there was obvious consumer confusion about the future direction of the network's rollout. "I think everyone including us is sitting back waiting and seeing what's going to happen," Purdy said.

The CEO said that the ISP was looking at simplifying its mobile offerings in line with its streamlined fixed line products. "We're in discussions with Optus at the moment to do that. so there could well be an announcement on the mobile front," he said.

Former CEO Steve Waddington previously told Computerworld in late 2012 that the ISP received acquisition offers "every other month". Purdy said that "you can never say never" when it comes to potentially being acquired, but added: "We've got no intention at all of selling the company."

"We're investing in the future of the company now to grow it, so we wouldn't be investing in it if we were just about to sell it," the CEO said.

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