Thursday, 24 September 2020 04:15

Telcos welcome NBN Co announcement on business fibre zones Featured

Telcos welcome NBN Co announcement on business fibre zones Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Australian telecommunications providers have welcomed the move by the NBN Co to spend up to $700 million on creating 240 Business Fibre Zones, including a presence in 85 regional centres. The plan was announced on Tuesday.

All businesses covered would be able to get Enterprise Ethernet connections at reduced, wholesale prices, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. Plus, $300 million would be spent to improve regional Internet services.

Andrew Sheridan, Optus vice-president, Regulatory and Public Affairs, said: "This is a positive initiative from the government that targets investment to areas of the market that are less well served by competition.

"It will also provide a much-needed incentive for small and medium-sized businesses to improve their digital capabilities and infrastructure. Optus looks forward to partnering with nbn co to make this happen."

A TPG Telecom spokesperson said: "Access to high-speed Internet has the potential to deliver enormous economic benefits for Australia, giving local businesses an edge when it comes to productivity and innovation."

TPG Telecom is the joint entity formed as a merger of the former TPG and Vodafone.

"There are likely to be welcome opportunities for NBN Co to support the deployment of infrastructure in areas where private investment is unlikely to deliver it," the spokesperson added.

"However, it is critical that NBN Co does not over-build or displace private investments which would have been delivered more efficiently by a competitive market."

Australia's biggest telco Telstra was contacted for its take, but did not respond.

A smaller ISP, Tasmania's Launtel, said the reduction of monthly costs and mostly removing the upfront fees which are associated with Enterprise Ethernet was welcome.

Chief executive Damian Ivereigh said in a blog post: "We expect that we will be able to offer this service in many more places and to smaller businesses than we do currently. More than likely this is NBN Co reacting to price reductions by other big fibre providers who they are in direct competition with and also making life harder for the fibre overbuilders."

Aussie Broadband was also contacted for its take on the announcement. However, Media and Communications officer Katrina Salhioui said the company was not prepared to respond to any request from iTWire at the moment.

"We were very disappointed in your editorial on the price rises, and although we appreciated that you published our response afterwards, we thought as former journalists ourselves that it was poor form that you did not ask us for a response at the time of initial publication," she said.

The editorial referred to was this. Aussie Broadband sent in a response which was carried in its own slot the day after.

Salhioui added: "We are therefore not prepared to respond to any further requests from you at this time."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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