Spark tight-lipped over Telecom sale

Tuesday November 11, 2014 Written by Phillipa Webb Published in Economy

Spark New Zealand is remaining tight-lipped over the sale of their majority stake in Telecom Cook Islands, with the process still ongoing.

Spark New Zealand, formerly known as Telecom New Zealand, has received several bids for its 60 per cent stake in Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) – a state-owned enterprise.
The company has confirmed it has received “several” expressions of interest – which are believed to include two locally-led consortiums and another from global telecommunications firm Digicel.
Richard Llewellyn, Spark’s Head of Corporate Communications, confirmed the process is ongoing, however the company will not reveal any details until the process is complete.
He was unable to say whether there would be any changes for customers when the sale goes ahead.
After expressing interest in late 2013, Digicel entered into a conditional agreement to purchase Spark’s 60 per cent stake in TCI for $23 million.
Telecom Cook Islands CEO John Proctor was unable to comment on the sale but said from their perspective they hope the process is resolved quickly to give a clear direction for staff and customers.
Rumours that other carriers such as Vodafone and Two Degrees are no longer available to function on roaming in the Cook Islands are not true, he said.
But rumours that Telecom Cook Islands has been experiencing problems with spam from some of its users were correct, he said.
“On two occasions last week, some customers experienced emails to Hotmail and Yahoo providers that were bounced back as a result of a temporary block imposed by those international operators in response to large amounts of Spam sent from a few of our users.”
Telecom’s response was to immediately try to block the relevant outgoing Spam, he said.
The temporary block was lifted on Friday morning, he said.
“We have located several users with equipment that was infected and have given them the relevant advice or assisted them to prevent this happening again.
“We have spam protection from a global anti-spam specialist however spam is a fact of life and no email provider anywhere in the world can claim to be 100% successful in preventing spam.”
G-mail, Oyster and Hotmail accounts all receive spam. Yahoo email was down for a number of weeks last year with a similar problem, he said.  

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