ispOne out of the regional NBN loop

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ispOne out of the regional NBN loop

And 150 ISPs with them.

Wholesaler ispOne has called on the Federal Government to involve regional ISPs more in NBN discussions rather than "playing political games" to force Telstra to open its network.

The company, which provides ‘white label' internet and data packages on the Telstra ADSL2+ and Optus 3G networks to over 150 ISPs, also today announced strong growth in the 2008/9 financial year.

It recorded turnover of "over $20 million" in the year just past and expects to increase that to $28 million next year - not bad for a company that started just six years ago with $2,000 each in funding from its directors.

Director Zac Swindells told iTnews the growth is coming predominately from entry-level and higher-end ADSL2+ plans.

ispOne signed an agreement with Telstra late last year for access to its wholesale network.

Swindells said Telstra's reach into 1,400 exchanges was providing strong growth opportunities for the ISPs that buy wholesale services from his firm, 67 per cent of whom are based in regional Australia.

"We've got the reach to take high-speed internet out to the regional market," Swindells said.

The company had also seen growth in offering wireless internet services on the Optus 3G network, either as a supplement to a fixed-line service or in areas where prospective customers are too far from the Telstra exchange.

"It means we're not saying no to customers [seeking ADSL2+]," Swindells said. "We're able to say ‘here's an alternative'".

However, Swindells is concerned the next-generation of high-speed broadband in Australia is still missing the area it is needed most - regional Australia.

Despite assurances from Senator Stephen Conroy and the fast-track of programs such as the backhaul blackspots scheme, it appears segments of the industry outside of the metropolitan areas are still missing out on engagement in the process.

"Everyone's talking NBN but the regional play is still being forgotten about," Swindells said.

"Telstra and Optus seem to be getting all the information. I haven't heard anything from the Government on the NBN.

"If the Government is going out to promote the NBN to the masses, they need to get the whole industry involved. They need to speak to the people who provide the services and that give regional ISPs the ability to compete with the big two."

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