The not-so-dulcet tones of a dial-up internet service connecting will soon be a thing of the past for the final handful of Vodafone NZ dial-up customers, as the telco prepares to shut down the service for good on 31 May.
The shutdown of Vodafone’s dial-up offering, which uses the old telephone network, comes after almost 30 years since the service was introduced, in favour of newer technology such as fibre broadband and wireless access solutions, including 4G and 5G broadband.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Vodafone NZ said it had up to 1000 customers still on dial-up technology, which uses a 56k modem and a phone line to create a connection, until just a few months ago, when it began to warn them that the service would be ending.
“Over the past few months, we’ve been contacting the final thousand or so customers who were still using dial-up to explain why we’re about to turn this technology off,” said David Redmore, acting experience and commercial director at Vodafone NZ. “It’s now crunch time, and Monday will mark the last day of Vodafone’s dial-up internet service.”
“Dial-up is old technology and is very rudimentary in today’s modern world. While we kept it going for as long as possible to support the shrinking number of customers who use it, it’s finally time to retire our dial-up service after almost 30 years and help those customers move to better options,” he added.
Access types to which Vodafone NZ dial-up customers are being switched include fibre or wireless broadband, depending on where they live.
The telco said that all customers impacted by a pending product closure or who have better value, more reliable alternatives to old technologies are given advance notice with their options clearly laid out for them.
“Customers often tell us they expect reliable, easy to install and fit for purpose internet, home phone and mobile solutions,” he said. “We’ve set up a special team that customers impacted by old product closures can contact to get support, and we work hard to make the transition to newer tech is as smooth as possible for them.”
According to Redmore, there are a number of older services that are being retired now and over the next few years, including dial-up, the old traditional copper landline, and wherever it makes sense on the telco’s network, older forms of copper, wireless, and cable broadband that are now considered legacy technologies.
“Older telecommunications services like dial-up can be less reliable, difficult to support, and are steadily being shut down around Aotearoa, so we need to upgrade people onto future-proofed options either out of necessity or to ensure we can continue to offer the value and reliability our customers expect,” Redmore said.
“Change can be hard, and we’ve been trying to support customers as much as possible, including providing advanced warning that an old product like dial-up is being shut down."
“We’re contacting customers to encourage them onto newer, more reliable, easier to support connectivity,” he added.
At the other end of the technological spectrum, Vodafone NZ recently followed up the contact centre tech partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) it struck last year with fresh accreditation to provide specialised expertise in the areas of contact centre migration and operations, as well as best practices on how to deploy solutions seamlessly.
In July last year, the telco said it would launch a new contact centre solution running on AWS as COVID-19 disruptions accelerated demand for flexible cloud-based services. Vodafone Connect, as the offering is called, was designed to support organisations with customer contact and engagements, create personalised customer experiences and reduce costs.
In April this year, the telco revealed it has been accepted into the Amazon Connect Service Delivery Programme, claiming to be the first business in the country, and one of only five AWS partners in Australasia, to be awarded the status and associated authorisation.