Broadband too pricey for enterprise

Broadband accounts for only 29 per cent of connections in the corporate and government sector in Australia as high prices continue to be a serious inhibitor to take-up.

Nearly 40 per cent of enterprises still connect their networks with access speeds of 64 Kbps, according to a study by researchfirm Telsyste.

However, Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd WAN and Infrastructure manager (Antony Winn) said broadband availability is very limitedbecause Telstra is not providing the service particularly in regional areas.

Upon aggregating service connections across data networks using Frame Relay, ATM, managed IP based on ATM/FR/MPLS, managed IP based on Ethernet or POS (packet over SDH) and leased line/clear channel technologies, the study found less than 30 per cent have 2 Mbps connections or higher.

Telsyte's managing director Shara Evans said as an industry "we've been beating ourselves up about the lack of broadband in the residentialand SME sector, yet our largest companies and government organisations continue to use low speed connections."

She believes that the main inhibitor to higher speed services is price particularly in the government sector where budgets are limited.

Using an example of Frame Relay, Evans illustrates the impact on telco service revenues - and corporate/government expenditure - if existingconnections shifted to higher speeds at current market prices.

"Today, the Australian Frame Relay market is worth over $700 million per annum. However, if Frame Relay access links migrated to 2 Mbps connections - using existing committed information rates (reserved bandwidth for site-to-site connectivity) - the market would be worth over $1.6 billion.

"If committed information rates rose to just one quarter of the access speed (512 Kbps) the market would be worth close to $2 billion."

Although technologies such as DSL or Ethernet can be used to provide lower cost high-speed services, Telsyte has found that very fewtraditional data services use DSL technologies for access connectivity.

Participants in the study included AAPT/TNZA, Asia Global Crossing, Equant, Macquarie Corporate Telecommunications(MCT), Nextgen Networks, Optus, Primus, Telstra and Uecomm.

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More about AAPTAsia Global CrossingEquantGlobal CrossingMacquarie Corporate TelecommunicationsMCTNextGenNextgen NetworksOptusPrimus AustraliaTelstra CorporationUecomm

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