UPDATE: Spark's Xtra Mail page was immediately hit by technical difficulties. See screen grab below. Spark says the glitch has now been resolved.
After nine years punctuated by security hassles, spam, phishing attacks and confusion, Spark is finally ditching Yahoo as the provider of its Xtra mail service — which is being moved to New Zealand company SMX.
SMX's major shareholders include NBR Rich Lister Sam Morgan.
Spark's PR trumpets that it has decided to "bring Xtra Mail home" but Yahoo's recent financial problems and recent firesale to Verizon may have also helped it make the final cut.
The company says it has already moved 11,000 business email accounts onto SMX.
Several hundred thousand home customers will follow in the three months from January.
Spark won't give a dollar figure for the cost of the transition, but tells NBR it will be a "This is a significant multi-million dollar investment in our customer email platform."
There will be one final bit of possible pain for Xtra users.
All customers will need to give Spark opt-in permission for the change before 30 November to ensure settings and emails are saved.
And those using "IMAP" email software (most people) will also have to tweak some settings ahead of the migration beginning in the New Year.
Spark says, "Customers will need to opt-in to the migration process as soon as possible to ensure their contacts, calendar entries and emails are migrated from Yahoo - they will retain their Xtra email address. Customers can go to www.spark.co.nz/email for more information or they can call a dedicated Xtra helpline on 0800 934 348 if they have any questions."
BELOW: Spark's Xtra Mail transition site falls over almost straight away:
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