Saturday, 31 October 2020 19:45

VIDEO Interview with a Telco Titan: Phil Britt, CEO, Aussie Broadband Featured


Phil Britt is the CEO and MD of Aussie Broadband, which just listed on the ASX, won a major customer service award, gained its first customer on its new Metro Melbourne fibre network, with Britt also winning the ACOMMS Communications Ambassador Award for 2020, and he joined iTWireTV via Zoom for a good all-round chat.

Phillip Britt. He's the CEO and MD of Aussie Broadband, which he and his team successfully launched on the ASX just a couple of weeks ago in a significantly oversubscribed launch that raised A$40 million.

The company is now the fifth largest provider of NBN services, has over 300,000 residential, small business and enterprise customers, with 100,000 of those customers added in just the last five months.

It is rolling out its over $67 million dark fibre network, with stage one now complete comprising a 20km fibre loop around the Melbourne CBD and Port Melbourne, now open and ready for business, with the first business customer, AI English, already on board.

The new fibre network can offer speeds of up to 10Gbps, which makes Aussie Broadband one of the few very telcos with such an ability.

In September, Britt was also awarded the prestigious Communications Ambassador 2020 at this year's ACOMM awards, with Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton stating: “Phillip is the personification of the qualities that the judging panel looks for in a Communications Ambassador.

“Phillip has demonstrated unwavering commitment, above all else, to the interests of his customers and the welfare of his rapidly growing team of employees,

“He is technically savvy, a fierce competitor and sits at the forefront of industry innovation in this country," Stanton concluded.

In 2020, Aussie Broadband offers "a range of services across the residential, small business and enterprise segments, including broadband, VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), mobile plans and entertainment bundles through a partnership with Fetch TV", and in 2016, it became "the first ISP outside the big four to build a network to all 121 NBN Points of Interconnect across Australia".

So, it was time to interview telco tech titan building a mighty telecommunications empire in Australia, one that places customer service so highly that it won, earlier this week, the Customer Service Organisation of the Year (Large) at the 2020 Australian Service Excellence Awards (ASEAs), and Britt graciously accepted the invitation to be interviewed, which you can watch in full embedded directly below, after which is a summary of the questions I asked him.

Here's the summary of the topics we discussed:

  • I started by introducing Phil Britt and welcoming him to the program.
  • I then noted his LinkedIn bio said he'd started this own ISP in 2003 from his lounge room with his business partner and co-founder, John Reisinger, because he wanted cheap Internet, and ask him about his first computer and first online experiences.
  • When then spoke about his 2016 intention to take Aussie Broadband Australia wide, and given the naysayers who didn't think it possible, that he obviously shared Walt Disney's viewpoint that "it's kind of fun to do the impossible", asking "what were the biggest challenges at the time in making that happen?"
  • After this came the recent IPO that was oversubscribed and which launched at more that double the initial $1 price, and what challenges there were in being successfully listed.
  • We then moved to the MyAussie app and its unique features, with a range of features for tech savvy users that other providers aren't brave enough to offer.
  • Next up came a discussion about NBN Co's CVC increase, other telco leaders complaining about the CVC charges, the new Focus on Fast campaign from NBN Co, and why NBN Co won't just go to a wholesale charging model - and the issues such a model would solve.
  • We then took a trip down the light fantastic of optical fibre, with Aussie Broadband completing stage one of its network in Melbourne and celebrating its first customer.
  • I cheekily then asked Phil what he'd do if he were in charge of NBN Co.
  • This transitioned into a discussion about Aussie Broadband's mobile virtual network offering and when it might move to 5G or speed capped data speeds once a user had gone over their allocated full speed data limit.
  • After this came a discussion about customer service, which Phil Britt is a famous advocate for while expressing how he hates "BS" when it comes to bad customer service. I asked him about great customer experiences at Aussie Broadband and any customer service experience issues he himself had suffered at the hands of others, with an interesting story there too.
  • I then asked Phil about his work in the not-for-profit sector, which is an impressive feat all on its own.
  • We spoke about Phil's recent awarding of the prestigious Communications Ambassador 2020 award from the Communications Alliance, and how he will use the position to champion the communications industry in Australia.
  • I asked Phil about the future, great advice he had received in life, and his final message to iTWire viewers and readers, and to his current and future customers and partners.

And that's it! It was a great interview which I'm grateful that Phil took the time to grant me, and I genuinely hope you enjoy watching it and learning from the life, times and experiences of one of Australia's great telco tech titans.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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