Telstra "progressively closing" cable operator and telco Pacnet

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Telstra "progressively closing" cable operator and telco Pacnet
Pacnet's former data centre in Sydney

Telstra is progressively closing down Pacnet Internet Australia, the cable operator and telecommunications provider it acquired in 2015, and giving customers the option to migrate to Telstra’s network or switch to another provider.

Pacnet's internet services will close down in December, according to a post on Telstra social media. The telco has been sending email and SMS notifications to customers since February to advise them that the service will be discontinued.

"We are in the closing stages of our Pacnet integration," a Telstra spokesperson told CRN.

"We are now progressively decommissioning platforms and working with customers to help them transition, which includes options to move to the Telstra solutions that best suit their needs."

Australia's biggest telco acquired the Singapore-based company more than three years ago for US$697 million (A$857 million).

The deal provided Telstra with 29 data centres and 109 points of presence, Pacnet's software-defined networking business and extensive submarine cable network, including 46,500km of submarine cable between the US and Asia.

The telco said at the time that its global enterprise and services division in Asia would almost double in size as a result of the acquisition and become the leader in the Asian service provider market.

Telstra said the transition of Pacnet customers to its network had been a work in progress dating back to the acquisition.

“We have now reached the point in this transition where we are commencing the progressive shutdown of the Pacnet Internet network and residual services,” according to Telstra advisory.

“We don’t want to see customers inconvenienced, so we are working with remaining Pacnet Internet customers to help transition their remaining services as soon as possible.”

Services won’t be transitioned automatically: affected customers have been given a choice to either join Telstra or any other provider. Any users who have not made the switch prior to the notified date will be disconnected automatically.

Some customers have taken to social media to complain about losing their Pacnet email addresses.

Those on fixed-term contracts will be honoured and services will not be disconnected until the contract end date has passed. Early termination charges will still apply.

Email accounts will also remain active until the notified disconnection date.

“In order to provide you with plenty of lead time and minimise the impact to you and your business we have been providing progress notifications outlining the disconnection date(s) for your current Pacnet Internet service(s),” the announcement read.

“Notifications will be sent to the administrative email address for your account or, if we do not have a valid email contact for you, we will send you a postal message to notify you.”

Existing Telstra customers that transition their Pacnet services will be combined into one Telstra account.

Small Business or Enterprise customers are also encouraged to migrate to Telstra Business Broadband or Telstra Internet Direct.

Pacnet was the result of a merger of Asia Netcom and Pacific Internet in 2008. At the time, the company had 1400 staff across Asia and 170 in Australia, with offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle and Melbourne.

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