In a bid to boost demand for its managed services, Queensland's WebCentral has promised free ADSL to any customers that sign for 10 or more mailboxes before 29 February.
Lloyd Ernst, CEO at WebCentral, said customers signing for at least 10 mailboxes on its Managed Exchange would get the DSL part of the service free -- with managed SharePoint Portal, back-up, file and print services customers likely to get a similar deal in the new year.
'Data charges are what's free. Businesses would like to do it, but were having problems with the costs of broadband and data charging, those sorts of things. So we're also putting a number of applications in our managed application zone and the data charges in that zone are free,' he said.
Ernst said that service providers such as Telstra had provided some things to consumers free, but similar deals for businesses were few and far between from the major ISPs.
He said it was 'too early' to say what the takeup of the offer might be, but WebCentral had signed 1000 customers for its Managed Exchange offering in the three or four weeks since its release.
'We expect it might take about six months to ramp up,' he said. 'Sometimes now [just before Christmas] is a good time for business to start thinking about things if they have a bit of spare time.'
The free-DSL offer would go out via WebCentral's usual channel. Resellers made 10 percent to 25 percent commission on the Managed Exchange recommended retail price, Ernst said.
WebCentral also encouraged its ISV partners to build and host vertical market applications in its customer application zone. 'Our goal is to do broad, horizontal opportunities and get partners to develop opportunities for the verticals,' Ernst said.