NBN business products fill the gap: AAPT

AAPT will use the NBN to offer business products in parts of Australia where it had otherwise been very expensive, the company said today.

Telecommunications company AAPT's Product Head Nick Pachos has said that the company's aim is to fully integrate its existing business services offering into the National Broadband Network (NBN) and bring services to customers in new areas.

Pachos made the comments at an NBN Co business breakfast in Sydney this morning, showcasing the government-owned company's wholesale business product. NBN Co's business service allows retail service providers to offer customers the ability to have up to 50 voice services over the fibre network, as well as support service 7 days a week. The upload and download speeds offered to businesses today match what is offered to consumers; between 12 megabits per second (Mbps) down/ 1Mbps up and 100Mbps down and 40Mbps up.

Pachos said that these products would help AAPT reach areas that are currently only available to the company by wholesaling off-net services through Telstra's copper access network, which doesn't offer high speeds.

"For us, as a service provider, we already have quite a broad footprint within Australia, but there are plenty of areas we don't reach and this helps us to not only reach those areas — which we can do today through off-net supply — but reach them at high speeds," he said.

"So actually delivering customers high speed services at a reasonable rate, as opposed to paying really high prices for low [speeds] for our customers."

Pachos said that most of the products AAPT offers today are available through the NBN product.

"Depending on what features get released over what time, it makes some products available quicker over NBN, while other features might take a bit longer," he said.

For businesses with greater upload bandwidth demands, NBN Co plans on releasing medium business and enterprise products in the next two years. The medium product will be released in the second half of 2013 and will offer 40Mbps symmetric upload and download speeds. The enterprise product will offer 100Mbps symmetric services.

Pachos said that customers today were happy with the initial offering from NBN Co — known as traffic class 4 — and weren't necessarily going to wait for the higher speed services.

"I think what we're going to see is that customers will demand NBN access and are happy with traffic class 4, not necessarily waiting for traffic class 2 or 3 for business," he said.

AAPT has 50 wholesale service providers already ordering its National Wholesale Broadband product, which was launched in early 2012.

M2 subsidiary Commander released its NBN business product last week, starting at AU$114.95 per month for 300GB with a 50Mbps/20Mbps service, and up to AU$161.95 per month for 1TB of data on a 100Mbps/40Mbps service with enhanced support.

NBN Co said today that it believes that its current product offering already matches or bests 70 percent of the business products in the market today.