Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) company has launched its symmetrical gigabit-speed wholesale enterprise product after consulting and trialling with retail service providers including Telstra, Vocus, and TPG.
"NBN Enterprise Ethernet connections are designed to be built on request and includes a point-to-point fibre connection," NBN explained on Tuesday.
"It will be packaged with a premium service-level agreement between NBN Co and retail providers to offer faster resolution of faults and to encourage retailers to offer an increased service experience for mission-critical applications."
After launching a business operations centre aimed at providing dedicated customer support for business users back in August, NBN on Tuesday also announced that it will begin trialling "premium business-grade appointments".
According to NBN, this could improve appointment time certainty for businesses.
NBN chief customer officer for Business Paul Tyler said the symmetrical gigabit product was developed with government needs and global customers in mind.
"It is capable of delivering the service required by businesses that use data-intensive applications such enterprise network systems and cloud-based solutions," Tyler said.
"NBN Enterprise Ethernet is designed to meet an international standard capability set by the Metro Ethernet Forum, which means the new product can also benefit geographically dispersed sites through a seamless integration of networks between offices across the world."
NBN said it now has over 450,000 businesses on the NBN, with around 20,000 being added each month, and that it will have further details on its wholesale business-grade satellite service in the next few months.
The satellite is targeted at agricultural businesses along with the oil, mining, and gas industries, NBN said, also flagging new wholesale discounts in future that bundle high speeds with "enhanced" service assurance after a year ago introducing a capped pricing model.
NBN had announced its wholesale business-grade satellite service in May, with the service to make use of underutilised spectrum from its existing satellites when it launches next year.
After signing a AU$184 million 10-year deal with Speedcast in February to work on the delivery of a Sky Muster business service, NBN has said it would have two wholesale category products.
The first, bandwidth services, is "designed for businesses with more complex networking requirements including wide-area network connections to multiple locations", according to NBN executive GM for Access Products Gavin Williams.
Williams said the second product offering, broadband internet, is "designed for businesses requiring more broadband data, higher speeds, and business-grade service levels".
NBN is expecting to launch the service in the first half of 2019, after "extensive consultation" of its potential pricing and products.
NBN's new business customer experience, located in Melbourne's Docklands area, meanwhile serves as retail service providers' single point of contact for any issues in connecting business customers, managing service incidents, and restoring faults across NBN services.
In August, NBN said it would be "progressively" rolling out three new service capabilities over the next few months to its business division: Premium appointments; business-grade workforce training; and enterprise service-delivery management.
"Businesses will be able to select a specific appointment time through their internet provider based on their hours of operation, which aims to increase certainty and reduce disruption to their operations and customers," NBN said at the time.
"Specialist business-grade technicians will be trained and upskilled to work in complex commercial premises to help improve 'right the first time' installations of NBN equipment and the restoration of business services when faults occur on the NBN access network.
"Multi-site migrations to the NBN access network will be simplified for businesses by bringing together the business end customer, relevant internet provider, and NBN Co to plan and deliver a coordinated migration plan."
According to Tyler, the offerings and business operations centre are necessary because "many businesses have mission-critical data requirements".
NBN in June signed a six-year deal with Macquarie Telecom for business services, with the retailer's Business class NBN by Macquarie Telecom product offering including data, internet, voice, and software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) business products; support staff based in Australia; and "coast-to-coast access to all sites in Australia".
The product suite utilises NBN's business-grade products such as asymmetrical (TC4), symmetrical (TC2), and enterprise Ethernet across a virtual network-to-network (v-NNI) link that allows it to access all NBN points of interconnect.
Tyler said the company is hoping to form similar partnerships with additional providers in future.
MacTel has since signed on Regional Australia Bank for the service.
Last week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) also approved a variation to the migration plan that will see an in-train order (ITO) process providing business services with 170 business days to switch over to the NBN before their legacy services are disconnected.
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