ADSL2+ close to Pacific's shores

Business-focused Internet service provider Pacific Internet is evaluating wholesale partner options as it gears up for the launch of high-speed ADSL2+ services. The company currently uses a range of technologies from leased-line to fibre, wireless and ADSL1 to service its primarily small to medium business (SMB) market, but is considering adding ADSL2+ (which allows speeds up to 24Mbps) to the mix.

Business-focused Internet service provider Pacific Internet is evaluating wholesale partner options as it gears up for the launch of high-speed ADSL2+ services.

The company currently uses a range of technologies from leased-line to fibre, wireless and ADSL1 to service its primarily small to medium business (SMB) market, but is considering adding ADSL2+ (which allows speeds up to 24Mbps) to the mix.

"We're evaluating ADSL2 now with two or three different providers, and we hope to be able to make a decision on that in the near future on who to partner with," the company's local managing director Dennis Muscat told ZDNet Australia this week.

In a telephone interview, Muscat said his company would not build infrastructure but instead buy services from a wholesale provider. It currently uses Telstra, Optus and NEC's NEXTEP division.

But the managing director claimed there was not yet a strong demand for the higher speed ADSL2+ services.

"Where we see it at this stage is something that the residential market's very keen on. The business market's more ambivalent," he said, agreeing that reliability, security and quality of service for value-added services were more important for the business market.

Despite this, Muscat said ADSL2+ was something he could not afford to ignore, a lesson the company had already learned with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony.

Pacific recently started selling VoIP services, going against research it previously conducted showing the SMB market was primarily not interested in the technology.

Muscat said if Pacific hadn't released a VoIP product, it would have run the risk of its customers going elsewhere for the service, potentially to a residential ISP.

"If your customer perceives you as just a provider of dumb pipes, your future ultimately is going to be commoditised, and we're really conscious about providing value to our customers in the business setting," he said.

Despite the research Muscat said Pacific had "already seen a great amount of interest in the [VoIP] product". "I think what we'll see in the SMB sector is a trend towards using it as a value-add," he said.

Meanwhile, Pacific Internet has almost completed the migration of its Sydney data centre to hosting specialist Global Switch's facility in Ultimo.

"It's just about done, I think we're about 95 percent complete," said Muscat, claiming the migration went "without a hitch".

Pacific successfully moved "many co-location customers", he added, for example Harvey World Travel. And there could be more work in this area in future. "Actually, we're going to push very hard in the co-location area as well," said Muscat.

The managing director said the data centre move had given Pacific more space and the ability to upgrade its infrastructure, among other things, adding quality of service features.

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