Thursday, 30 January 2020 13:33

NBN Co moves to next stage of engagement with Retail Service Providers Featured


NBN Co, the operator of the National Broadband Network, has announced the next phase of its engagement with Retail Service Providers (RSPs) and enterprise customers.

With more than one million business services now on the NBN access network, NBN Co’s announcement says it has “successfully raised awareness of its wholesale business products through a structured industry outreach program”.

“With businesses across the country benefiting from contestable, open access fibre, NBN Co has been exploring ways to maximise the benefits to enterprise customers and RSPs. This has included listening to industry feedback terms of how we jointly engage with customers moving forward,” NBN Co says in a statement released on Thursday.

“In response to this feedback, NBN Co will evolve its enterprise contracting model so that RSPs will in all cases have the direct contractual relationship with enterprise customers.

“Previously, NBN Co has at times contracted directly with enterprise customers to build connectivity ahead of those customers engaging one or more RSPs to provide operational broadband services.

“The Company will continue to engage with enterprise customers through its engagement team to understand their infrastructure requirements, and to educate and stimulate demand for nbn wholesale services.

“Following this decision, the company will release a telecommunications industry consultation paper to seek views on how any sales leads or inbound interest should best be shared with the industry on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis.”

Paul Tyler, Chief Customer Officer – Business Sales & Marketing, said: “These changes will deliver greater collaboration between NBN Co and RSPs by ensuring that together, the Industry is in the best position to deliver tailored broadband services that enterprise customers need to succeed”.

“We have proven in recent times that NBN Co has a key role to play in increasing the digital capability of large and complex Australian organisations, consistent with our purpose,” Tyler said.

“We have unlocked substantial value, created choice for enterprise customers, and educated the enterprise and government market on the value that nbn brings to the nation.”

NBN Co says it will continue to be a “strong voice for improving access to enterprise grade services and expanding the market in partnership with all RSPs who serve these customers”.

NBN Co expects to publish its consultation paper by 7 February 2020, and says it is making this announcement now to enable “prompt, equal and transparent awareness of this intent amongst all customers, RSPs and other interested parties”.

Commenting on the decision by NBN Co, Macquarie Telecom group executive Luke Clifton said: “Macquarie Telecom welcomes the decision by NBN Co to avoid direct enterprise deals while continuing to educate corporate customers on the benefits of using nbn in conjunction with RSPs”.

“This change affirms nbn’s position and commitment to provide better connectivity and competition to businesses across the country, particularly in regional areas,” Clifton said.

“While a number of tier one telcos have been calling for nbn to exit the enterprise market altogether, we believe these calls are based on self-preservation and a desire to push their own fibre rather than the interest of Australian businesses, and we applaud NBN Co for taking appropriate action rather than bowing to these demands.

“The issue of price gouging is still alive and well for businesses across Australia. Nbn’s enablement of new providers in an underserviced and overpriced market is vital to change that and help organisations develop the infrastructure network and digital services they need.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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