NBN Co lays out plans for small business

The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) today announced plans to offer internet service providers (ISPs) high-speed wholesale broadband services created specifically for the needs of small office/home office (SOHO) owners and the small business market.

The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) today announced plans to offer internet service providers (ISPs) high-speed wholesale broadband services created specifically for the needs of small office/home office (SOHO) owners and the small business market.

The idea is to provide small businesses with services that larger businesses enjoy, but at lower prices. This is to be achieved by offering ISPs an incremental pricing structure, so that they can offer businesses different prices that allow them to take services to the level that they need, without having to make a massive jump to an enterprise-grade service.

"Our research indicates that many home office/small office operators and small businesses are currently using standard residential services for their telephone or broadband, or opting for business-grade offerings over copper-based ADSL2+ services. Beyond this, for larger small businesses, there is a quite a big jump to business-grade fibre-based services," NBN Co head of product development and industry relations, Jim Hassell, said in a statement.

"For example, there are small design and video production companies that need to send large files to their customers, which are paying for services designed for much bigger businesses. Our aim with the new offerings is to allow telcos and service providers to design plans that cost-effectively add higher levels of service to suit a range of increasing needs."

An example of a wholesale business service that NBN Co would provide could be a $59 product with 25Mbps downlink and 10Mbps uplink speeds, and the customer would have the additional option of paying a $15 monthly fee for better service levels.

"Many small businesses also operate long hours or on the weekend, so we plan to add extended hours to our service level agreement — from 7am to 9pm seven days a week, with a one-hour response time and 12-hour restoration time in metro areas," Hassell said.

NBN Co will provide wholesale speeds of up to 40Mbps at the layer two level in the small business offering.

NBN Co plans to release the wholesale pricing for service providers in a few weeks, including new increments for small business to support multiple voice services. The additional product and service options are scheduled to be available by the third quarter of next year.

NBN Co said at an industry forum in Sydney today that it plans to have wholesale products designed specifically for enterprise businesses with symmetrical download and upload speeds of between 500 megabits per second and 1000 megabits per second.

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