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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Comments

Barney Symonds

1

All very nice, but no mention of the off-shore operations in Sri Lanka that have helped bring Exetel to where they are. It is not just about "plans" and "simplicity".

LT

2

Also no mention of refusing to pass on the new plans to existing customers & they claim what they do offer for their existing & loyal customers is good value when in reality they are horribly expensive compared to what we already had. James Linton is very arrogant in how he talks to anyone that dares to challenge them on prices. I am sure he lives in a different world when he says things like the following in a public broadband forum "there are some very attractive plans available to current customers in the members area." & "The plans in the members area, compared to a lot of plans on the market, are still great value."
The truth is that the new plans on offer to existing customers are far more expensive than what we are already on so no way would we want to sign a new contract for those. They have lied to us for months that the newer & better value plans will be available to us soon, well it has been 6 months & he still says "I do not know" when asked. The new plans offered to me are remarkably more expensive for less data & the same for all other existing customers. Their new website is impossible to navigate easily resulting in a lot of frustrated users unable to log in or navigate without assistance from others. Since the co-founder (John Linton) passed away the company has lost touch with their customers & the philosophy "As a low cost provider our aim is to provide our customers with real savings and the best value telco plans in the market." is sadly no longer true.
Many clients are now looking to other ISP's because they feel ripped off & treated poorly for their patience & loyalty, truth sometimes hurts but the public have a right to know what it is really like as a customer with Exetel.

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