NBN Co makes significant strides for business
We are now more than halfway through the network build, which will become the digital backbone of the Australian economy when complete in 2020.
Just three years ago, our dedicated business unit was a one-person operation with the mandate to maximise the use of the nationwide infrastructure to unlock choice and competition in the market.
Today, that dedicated business unit is now a full-fledged service, sales and support operation that focuses on delivering the wholesale infrastructure businesses need to succeed in a digital economy, while providing the levels of service to ensure they are always on and ready to pounce on any opportunity that arises.
In the past year, we have significantly scaled the size and scope of this team and worked alongside industry to set up processes so we can better meet the business community’s demands for high-quality service.
We have also expanded our wholesale products and services to cater to all sizes of business; from ‘mum and dad’ online retailers to the top echelons of the business and government enterprise world.
NBN Co’s wholesale business proposition
We know that businesses have unique requirements. This is why we have developed business-grade wholesale product and service offerings with targeted communication programs and service-level agreements to help make the transition to the nbn™ broadband access network as smooth as possible.
To ensure we have the wholesale products and services that businesses demand, we have built out our offering around three core tenets:
- Industry collaboration to deliver wholesale business-grade products, services and pricing model.
- Enhanced customer care with high levels of support during the migration and use of services over the nbn™ access network.
- A technology roadmap that makes the most of our Multi-Technology Mix (MTM) while also providing the flexibility to upgrade to higher-capacity and faster network technologies when large enterprise and government businesses need it.
But we are not done yet. Later this year, we will launch a wholesale direct-fibre broadband service that is designed to deliver symmetrical speeds of up to 1Gbps. While the nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet solution will be targeted at the higher end of town, it’s a service we think will also be eagerly adopted by medium-sized tech-savvy businesses.
We have taken a more hands-on approach to helping businesses get connected, with enterprise engagement teams and field technicians working closer than ever with service providers on installations to the nbn™ access network. Our latest progress report shows these changes are having a real impact as we have been able to increase our ability to install the network right the first time from around 85 per cent a year ago to consistently more than 90 per cent today.
Our team also continues to help bridge the digital divide and is gearing up to deliver a wholesale nbn™ Business Satellite Service designed to support online applications such as video conferencing and cloud-based services for rural and remote businesses in Australia. This new product is set to be crucial for Australian farmers and organisations within oil, mining and gas industries by providing them with the ability to run their remote offices.
Working with industry to support business growth
Today, our commitment to the business community has reached another milestone with the signing of a new multi-year agreement valued at more than $100 million with Macquarie Telecom. This agreement will see us provide the underlying wholesale access network to deliver voice and data services to Macquarie’s business customers.
As part of this agreement, Macquarie will access a range of our wholesale product capabilities, including high and symmetrical speeds, enhanced service-level agreements, technology upgrades (where required), as well as access to NBN Co’s virtual network-to-network interface (NNI) link.
The virtual NNI is the port that allows retailers to ‘plug in’ to NBN Co’s Points of Interconnect and gives all phone and internet providers the opportunity to access the network directly from us.
Enabling entry to the nbn™ access network via a virtual NNI link also gives phone and internet providers the capability to manage their own ‘network contention’ (the management of network resources and access) and allows them to offer a customer experience that suits the needs of their customers.
Coupling this with the fact that our MTM provides us with the flexibility to deliver the rollout at scale and pivot the mix of our access technologies, where it makes sense for our customers, and allows us to support organisations with higher bandwidth requirements. This has provided us the platform to develop a compelling value proposition to drive competition in the market.
NBN Co’s agreement with Macquarie is one we hope will be the prototype for what we can achieve in the future with other providers eager to serve the nation’s businesses, whether they are small or large. It also demonstrates our underlying network infrastructure is enterprise-ready and we are well and truly open for business.
We look forward to working with Macquarie, and our other industry partners, to ensure their business customers have the opportunity to take full advantage of the benefits the nbn™ access network can provide.
Broadband helps businesses grow
Australia is a nation of growing businesses. Growth that is being accelerated thanks to the rollout of our access network.
Today, there are more than 420,000 businesses relying on the nbn™ access network to provide the broadband tools to conduct business, seek out new opportunities and enable employers to work more productively and flexibly.
Each month we add another 20,000 businesses to our network footprint. This is helping a new generation of business owners and operators to log on and participate in the digital economy, according to the results of our recent Connecting Australia research report.
Significantly for Australia’s business community, this research shows more new businesses are springing up in areas where the nbn™ access network has been rolled out and is ready for service.
It estimates up to 5,400 new businesses were created in 2017 in nbn™-connected areas which, at an annual growth rate of one per cent, is more than double the national average of 0.4 per cent.
If that rate continues, we will see the creation of nearly 80,000 new businesses by 2021 as a result of fast broadband delivered by the nbn™ access network.
We know we have our work cut out for us in providing the level of service and quality that businesses demand, but we are ready for this challenge, and we will continue to work closely with the industry to provide access to the fast broadband services that Australian businesses need now and in the future.