NBN Co readies pitch to 'high-value' business users

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NBN Co readies pitch to 'high-value' business users

Nears milestone entry into the business Ethernet market.

NBN Co is readying its staff and systems to begin migrating “high-value” business customers off the Telstra network and onto its own.

The network builder is assembling a virtual team internally to tackle the business market, recruiting an overseer to develop and run the migration process, and preparing a final consultation on its proposed business Ethernet offerings.

This comes after the company spent the past 14 months detailing - via a series of white papers - the types of high-value, “legacy” business services that will move onto the NBN Ethernet bitstream service, or NEBS.

Known as temporary special services (TSS), those earmarked for transition include Telstra’s Ethernet Lite BDSL, wholesale business DSL, frame relay, ISDN and ISDN2, ATM over copper and CustomNet Spectrum.

The company said in its integrated product roadmap in October last year that it would introduce a business Ethernet product in Q2 2017 – and that timeline is unchanged in the latest iteration of the roadmap.

It is described in documentation as a “single price per point business product that will provide a committed information rate, uncontended, symmetric bandwidth service”.

Provided over FTTP, the bandwidth profiles run from 5/5Mbps to 100/100Mbps; over FTTN and FTTB, they span 5/5Mbps to 40/40Mbps.

NBN Co had been hoping to run a product consultation on the Ethernet service in November last year, however it has been held over until February this year.

In the interim, the company is moving ahead anyway. This week it revealed plans to appoint a national manager to oversee “a smooth transition of high value legacy business services (TSS) to NBN, and ensure delivery of NBN business segment take up and revenue targets”.

The new manager's key responsibilities will include raising “awareness amongst high value businesses of the disconnection of legacy services and [to] drive migration to the NBN," and tracking and improving the “customer satisfaction of high value businesses” as they migrate.

The manager will also work with retail service providers “to develop and implement their TSS migration programs, including identifying and addressing dependencies and roadblocks to migration”.

NBN Co’s formal entry into the business internet market is a milestone for the company as it doubles down on efforts to bring high-value customers onto the network.

The company spent much of last year aggressively pursuing a subset of high-value residential customers that were being targeted by TPG through its fibre-to-the-basement product.

Though the initial business model for the NBN was predicated on high-value metro customers subsidising the network rollout in regional and rural Australia, the government is pushing to axe the cross-subsidy, which it says disadvantages NBN Co as it competes to win over the high-value residential users in the first place.

Having a greater concentration of higher-value customers on its services would be advantageous to NBN Co, especially if it is to successfully refinance a $20 billion government loan privately once the network is complete, or appear attractive enough to prospective suitors to be fully privatised.

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