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MyRepublic’s hasty departure from Australian market prompts users to seek out new providers in record numbers


ISPs come and go, but the haste with which MyRepublic has removed itself from the Australian market has left customers confused and concerned. It serves to remind us just how much Australians, and indeed all of us, depend on reliable internet connectivity in 2023.

MyRepublic – a swift but secretive departure

MyRepublic is something of a pioneer in communications. The Singapore-based internet service provider was the first in the world to be powered by a proprietary cloud-based platform. In any tech niche, first mover status can count for a lot, and MyRepublic enjoyed rapid growth and consistent profits almost from the word go after launching in 2011. This growth included setting up shop in Australia in 2017. In 2018, the Financial Times named MyRepublic in its top 100 fastest growing companies in Asia Pacific.

The first indication that something was going wrong occurred on Christmas Eve 2022 when a press release popped up in various locations, announcing that the internet provider would be leaving the Australian market and that its customers would be “acquired” by rival brand Superloop.

Understandably, this raised more questions than it answered. Customers wanted to know when MyRepublic would be leaving, what sort of service Superloop would provide and whether they were automatically tied to this deal if they did not wish to “be acquired” and had some alternative ideas of their own. They also wanted to know why they were learning about MyRepublic leaving the Australian market by reading a press release instead of being informed directly when they had a contractual relationship in place. And one last question posed by several MyRepublic customers was this:

Why were MyRepublic acting as if they weren’t going anywhere? In January, the company was still operating its “refer a friend” promotion in Australia. When well-meaning customers posted on social media questioning this, their comments were rapidly deleted.

Keeping customers in the (Super) loop

By the end of January 2023, MyRepublic appeared to have got its communications in order. It updated its website with news of its departure from Australia, and stated that it had struck a deal with Superloop whereby customers would be “automatically transitioned” to an equivalent Superloop package.

Customers also have the opportunity to seek out new internet service provisions of their own, and now is obviously a good time for those affected to check they are getting the best deal. MyRepublic stated that those wishing to go elsewhere would not incur cancellation fees, but would need to inform MyRepublic of their decision in writing. MyRepublic’s delays in getting this information out has left customers with a small window in which to do their research and weigh up their options.

Growing reliance on the internet, from coffees to casino games

This whole incident and the confusion surrounding it has served as a timely reminder of just how reliant Australians have become on their internet service. More than 91 percent of Australians use the internet regularly, and it touches every aspect of life. Some rely on it to connect with work, some to stay in touch with loved ones, some to play slots online with Australian internet pokies and some to gather loyalty points when they buy a coffee. Most use their internet for a combination of all these things and more. The point is that whether you’re playing the pokies or attending a virtual conference, you need to have confidence in your internet connection and its integrity.

Even more serious in the case of MyRepublic is the fact that this is a domestic supplier that serves vulnerable and elderly members of the community. Now for sure, silver surfers love to play the pokies online too, but they also rely on having a reliable home connection to order essential groceries and stay connected with others. Many older internet users are less savvy than their children or grandchildren when it comes to backups like setting up a mobile hotspot from a cellphone.

It behooves us all to double check that our elderly or more vulnerable loved ones are taking appropriate action if they are affected by MyRepublic and that they are getting the best deal.

Blogger By Passion, Programmer By Love and Marketing Beast By Birth.

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