NBN Co commits $700m for Enterprise Ethernet play
NBN Co will invest up to $700 million over the next three years to bring enhanced connectivity in the form of Enterprise Ethernet services to more Australian businesses.
The raft of initiatives will include deploying up to 240 nbn business fibre zones across Australia, including in 85 regional centres. The footprint is expected to cover over 700,000 business premises.
For an estimated 90% of these premises, NBN Co does not plan to charge the retailer
The deployment will provide all businesses within the zones with access to Enterprise Ethernet services at reduced wholesale prices — with NBN Co offering discounts of up to 67% depending on area. These services will offer symmetrical upload and download speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to close to 1 Gbps.
Nationally, 14 of these zones will be located to support existing health precincts, comprising facilities such as hospitals and research and education facilities.
The company will also spend $50 million over three years to work with local councils and state and territory governments to identify opportunities to extend business-grade services outside these designated zones.
“Having helped level the playing field for residential internet services with the rollout of the nbn network, we are now turning our attention to accessibility for our premium-grade business services, helping businesses in regional areas access the benefits of competition, enhanced broadband support services and better wholesale nbn prices for the digital services they need to succeed,” NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue commented.
“Working with our industry partners, we believe these new initiatives will help open up the market for all internet providers — both existing and new, small and large — driving competition so that businesses can thrive right across Australia.”
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher added that the government-backed investment will be critical to Australia’s post-COVID recovery.
“During this global health crisis the nbn has proven itself to be a vital national asset. It has supported Australian businesses as they have innovated and adapted to digital operating models to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and enabled families and friends to keep in touch virtually,” he said.
Macquarie Telecom Head Luke Clifton said the announcement will raise the stakes for Tier 1 telcos providing services to businesses within the zones.
“Today’s announcement proves the nbn has not just been an ally to businesses in the heat of the pandemic, but that it is committed to helping businesses get back on their feet, reduce their costs and access the connectivity they need in an enhanced digital economy,” he said.
“Crucially, the availability of point-to-point fibre on demand to 85 regional zones will bring greater competition to regional Australia and be the final nail in the coffin for Tier 1s underserving and overcharging regional businesses that have not had choice of provider.”
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