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NBN Co. to offer tailored services to small firms

Wednesday, 9 November 2011 | By Michelle Hammond

The National Broadband Network Company will allow wholesale internet service providers to cater for small firms and home operators, enabling businesses to tailor their broadband services.

 

NBN Co., the builder of the network, has outlined plans for telecommunication companies and ISPs to offer quality voice services and longer hours of customer service to small businesses.

 

According to Jim Hassell, NBN head of product development and industry relations, the new services will give telcos and ISPs more flexibility in offering packages at affordable prices.

 

“Many home office or small office operators and small businesses are currently using standard residential services for their telephone or broadband, or opting for business-grade offerings over copper-based ADSL2+ services,” Hassell said in a statement.

 

But for some businesses, receiving business-grade fibre-based services represents a huge jump in terms of price.

 

“There are small design and video production companies that need to send large files to their customers, which are paying for services designed for much bigger businesses,” Hassell said.

 

Hassell said NBN Co. will offer a more tiered pricing scale to suit the needs of varying business sizes.

 

The NBN wholesale business grade products for small business have access to higher upload speeds, of up to 40 megabits per second, compared with an applicable ADSL2+ service.

 

NBN Co. will offer extended hours of service to its wholesale customers, from 7am to 9pm seven days a week, with a one-hour response time and 12-hour restoration time in metropolitan areas.

 

Meanwhile, telco giant Optus has beaten industry rival Telstra to the punch by becoming Australia’s first major carrier to unveil pricing for its NBN service.

 

The decision to go public with its cost offerings comes in spite of the fact that Optus has not yet reached an agreement with NBN Co. on a wholesale broadband agreement.

 

 

Clare Gill, Optus general manager of government and corporate affairs, says the plans will be offered to customers on a month-to-month basis while it operates under an interim agreement with NBN Co.

 

 

“We have got that flexibility for when we do come to a final WBA to then look at the terms that we arrange and what will be going forward in a contract,” Gill told News.com.au.

 

The telco’s entry level plan starts at $39.99 a month, available to current post-paid mobile customers, or $49.99 for those without.


It includes up to 40 gigabytes of data, delivered over NBN Co’s first-speed tier, which has a download speed of 12 megabits per second and an upload speed of one megabit per second.

The seven different plans, which go up to $79.99 per month for 500 gigabytes of data, will be available to those living within the NBN’s initial five release sites in mainland Australia.


Home and broadband bundles will start from $64.94 a month, Optus says.


Internode and iiNet are among the handful of other ISPs that have also released their NBN plans.