Most of the conversation we have about the NBN in Australia relates to the consumer market. From the start of the project it was always clear some of the biggest benefit would be to business, but until now that hasn’t really been a focus of the project. Today that changes with nbn announcing changes to their wholesale pricing model, which aims to make business-grade services more competitive and flexible.
Starting October 1st, 2017, nbn will introduce a new spend cap on its high bandwidth business products. This means retail service providers will have confidence about their spending and allow them to lower costs over delivering traditional business internet plans and pass those savings on to the Businesses of Australia. This development is designed to allow package plans targeted at medium and enterprise businesses, with between 20 and 200+ employees, which represent around 11.7% of Australia’s total business market.
nbn’s Traffic Class 2 wholesale product (offered over FTTP, FTTN and FTTB) supports applications such as video conferencing, converged business collaboration, IPTV or gaming (let’s assume we’re talking about game development studios here). It is delivered as a committed information rate (CIR) with defined latency, jitter and loss characteristics. Businesses typically have symmetrical data rates that attract a heavy premium over consumer plans, while also using many multiples of the data in a month, even for the most enthusiastic household.
Business packages from RSPs will include both high download and upload speeds and capacities, enabling business-grade applications such as multiline voice, online backup, online services that all help businesses increase productivity, lower costs and improve customer service. The pricing will vary based on the amount of bandwidth purchased by retail service providers each month, with nbn’s higher speed tiers expected to deliver the greatest reduction in overall costs.
There’s been plenty of conjecture over the need for 1Gbps plans in the home, but in business, speed is essential to being competitive and redundancy is key to business continuity. Often we see business use dual Gigabit fibre links to ensure up time and to push data to off-site backup services. Having what is now an essential business cost be reduced when shifting to the NBN, is a critical step forward for business adoption.
The company undertook industry consultation ahead of announcing the new spend cap and confirmed it will replace the nbn Business Ethernet (nBE) product, which was scheduled to launch later this year. nbn’s Executive General Manager, Product, Sales and Marketing for Business Ben Salmon said,
“nbn is well positioned to deliver business-grade services at competitive market prices to unlock further choice and competition for Australian business. Today’s announcement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to adapt and optimise our products and pricing in order to keep up with market trends.
We’ve taken on board the feedback provided by a number of our retail service providers and have developed a new pricing model to enable those offering high-speed broadband, voice services and after hours care on the nbn access network to market their products at a more cost effective price for their business customers.
These product offerings are particularly aimed at helping Australian medium and enterprise businesses to harness technologies such as cloud computing, multi-line voice, video conferencing and multimedia rich applications to increase their efficiencies and drive revenue growth.”
There’s a new business website launching today for more information, head to http://nbnco.com.au/connect-business to learn more. This will answer common business questions like:
- What business products are offered to replace my existing product?
- How much data/what plans based on wholesale speed tiers do I need?
- Will my existing services be affected?
- How should I prepare for the migration process?
- Will my devices be compatible?
Overall, the NBN is on track to meet (revised) timelines to be three quarters built by mid-next year and complete by 2020. The most recent nbn weekly progress report (14th Sept 2017) shows us that 6,217,369 premises are in areas that are ready for service. Of those, around 5.9 million are ready to connect, while just 2,884,183 actually have connected to the NBN. Without doubt a positive NBN experience at work will assist the adoption rate at home, so this announcement by nbn is a particularly important one.