TasmaNet aims up at regional centres following investment

Tasmanian cloud services provider TasmaNet has announced its intention to spread into regional, mainland Australia following an investment round of AU$5.3 million.

Tasmanian telecommunications carrier cum cloud services provider TasmaNet has boosted its expansion budget after receiving AU$5.3 million from external investors.

TasmaNet's managing director Joel Harris told ZDNet the cash injection will go towards gaining customers on the mainland.

"This money is being used to ensure that we've got our automation right, we also want to ensure that we're virtualising the functions within our company wherever possible, and we're making sure that we can get our business model right in Tasmania -- then absolutely next year, we will start looking at expanding to the mainland with interest of expanding everywhere that's not Melbourne and Sydney.

"We'll be specifically looking to regional areas such as Cairns, Townsville, Ballarat, we believe that those areas have a lot of small to medium sized businesses, and I think there's a market for a company like TasmaNet to provide raw services to those regional areas. And we look forward to taking that opportunity."

The eleven-year-old TasmaNet has been following a similar template in its home state.

"We've been making sure that they [clients] can access services that otherwise wouldn't be available outside of the CBD, so this investment enables us to continue building on those traditional telco services by now adding cloud and data centre services."

The AU$5.3 million investment -- which the company claims is the largest IT investment the state has seen -- from new and existing shareholders was brokered by Australian investment bank Greenard Willing, with Harris disclosing that the investors were comprised mainly of local business people in Tasmania, with AU$3m from three investors, and "another four or five making up the remainder".

In April last year, TasmaNet capitalised on the NBN rollout pause in the state rolling out its own dark fibre whilst government contractors idled awaiting the recommencement of the project. As a result, TasmaNet began rolling out fibre to businesses in Hobart's CBD in November.

Harris believes that while the NBN has its place for residential consumers in Tasmania, and some regional businesses in the state, enterprise clients need something more.

"There's an understanding that has started to come through in our marketplace around what the NBN is, and what role it can play.

"The NBN is a content delivery network, it is for people to either download information, or content, what the NBN isn't at the moment, is a network suitable for enterprise clients -- it's not suitable for connectivity to data centres."

Harris said that TasmaNet has not seen a huge impact to its business with the NBN rollout, saying that as soon as you bring in core business applications, NBN is not suitable for a company -- at this stage.

"Our role really is around providing business grade networks suitable for more enterprise companies, so we haven't seen a huge impact into our clients.

"Some of our clients that have very small regional offices are happy to have the NBN because we are able to get good communications into those regional offices -- but for most our clients, the services that NBN providing, aren't really the types of telecommunications products that these customers purchase, so we haven't seen a huge impact as yet."