This article is more than 1 year old

Aussies: Want gigabit symmetrical NBN? We've got good news and bad news

It's coming, but only for enterprise customers

Australian businesses will soon get retail offers for the kind of National Broadband Network services consumers pine for: symmetrical gigabit-per-second Ethernet access, delivered over fibre.

The company building the network, nbn™, said the launch came after it spent a year working with a number of service providers on consultation and industry trials.

Chief customer officer for business Paul Tyler blogged: "This wholesale product has been developed with the specific needs of global enterprise and government organisations in mind. It is capable of delivering the service required by businesses that use data-intensive applications such [as] enterprise network systems and cloud-based solutions."

The product is Metro Ethernet Forum compliant, to make it easier to integrate networks up to the international scale.

Getting high-value customers connected is an important part of nbn™'s business plan, which assumes growing monthly Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

At AU$44, the company's current ARPU is way below the $51 break-even point it has nominated as its 2022 target, and an enterprise-grade service is key to that growth strategy.

The Enterprise Ethernet product will, however, put nbn™ in a competitive market, something it doesn't have to deal with in the consumer-level wholesale network.

The NBN's household access network is an infrastructure monopoly, with ISPs buying connectivity for their retail services.

Business Ethernet-over-fibre is a hotly contested market, with Telstra, Optus, TPG, Vocus, Macquarie Telecommunications and others vying for enterprise and government contracts.

In other NBN news, Telstra has won a concession from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, relating to its NBN migration process. The ACCC granted businesses using DSL and Ethernet-over-copper an extra 170 days to complete their NBN migration before disconnections start.

Businesses will need to have ordered an NBN service to take advantage of what's called an "In Train Order" process.

Telstra has also responded to customer concerns about backup services during NBN outages, and today announced its NBN smart modems have automatic failover to 4G for voice calls and data services. ®

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