NBN could see the end of business ADSL: IDC

Consumer NBN-based plans offering faster speeds at similar prices may lure businesses away from their current ADSL-based plans

The connection of the first business to the National Broadband Network (NBN) this week may have sounded the death knell for SME ADSL-based business broadband plans, according to IDC.

Speaking to Computerworld Australia, IDC program manager for telecommunications, David Cannon, suggested that, when given the choice between a consumer NBN-based plan and a business ADSL-based plan, there would be little reason not to switch to the NBN.

“It’s the end of ADSL business services because businesses will pay that extra incremental cost because they’re getting the extra productivity which equals extra revenue, which equals additional cost-saving elsewhere across the business, so businesses will pay for that… This is the telltale sign of the validity of the concept of the NBN,” he said.

“It’s all about the productivity gain as a result of the capacity and the speed that you get not only to do business faster, because you’re not waiting around for something to happen before you can react to that.”

According to Cannon, business ISPs would have to interconnect with the NBN if they wanted to keep their non-consumer customers.

One business ISP, AAPT, told Computerworld Australia that it was not troubled by the future prospect of smaller businesses being tempted by consumer-based ISPs offering NBN services.

“AAPT has significant fibre and ‘Mid Band Ethernet’ coverage in all capital cities, so our business customers already enjoy the benefits of a reliable, cost-effective, high speed IP network,” an AAPT spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that for larger customers in enterprise and government, it already offered “individual, tailored telecommunications solutions” backed by “premium customer service” and technical assistance.

“The NBN has yet to be fully implemented in any state except Tasmania; its pricing has not yet been determined in other states, however should it be a cost-effective access service we will add it to our already extensive range of third party accesses.”

The comments follow the announcement yesterday that the first business customer had been signed to the NBN, on a consumer plan.

According to Galloway's Pharmacy owner, Stephen Love, who signed on as Primus’ first business NBN customer, the NBN could bring both competition and improved services to the small business sector.

“There’s a lot of businesses out there that want the fastest speeds they can get, simple as that, so even if [businesses] aren’t really sure how it’s going to benefit them, I’m sure they will take the quicker speeds and they’re no more expensive than ADSL,” Love told Computerworld Australia.

Optus was also contacted for this story, but, the ISP declined to comment.

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