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The fibre of tomorrow's B2B market

Customers aren't simply readying for an NBN transition, but reviewing their network access approach as whole.

Last time I discussed NBN, I focussed on what some would loosely class as B2C using the example of my wife playing Black Ops as a close to home case study.

Now, it might seem a little basic to draw from such an example but I wanted to see if the quality of the home access network affects consumers' perceptions of a video game publishing company, for example, like Activision (market cap $USD28Billion) or the game designer, Treyarch?

The answer is - you bet it does. While client/server gaming design and the quality of the netcode are things gamers hold dear to their hearts, even the best designs can be compromised by substandard home access.

But what does NBN mean for the B2B market and in particular, the corporate wide area network (WAN)?

Clearly, the disruptive impact of NBN is getting businesses thinking about fibre, and the future connectivity needs of their operations. Recently, I have been discussing another option to transition business, enterprise and government customers from their copper access, which is to move to Telstra fibre based access on the grounds of availability, scalability and access to intelligent network features.

So, why fibre based access, using a product like IPMAN? I could discuss this question at length but for this forum I will instead present my "Top 5" reasons why customers should consider Telstra fibre based access services.

1. Speed and Agility

When Telstra provides an IPMAN style access, it is immediately scalable, in terms of bandwidth, between 2Mb/s and 1Gb/s facilitating upgrades in days, not weeks or in the case of AAN customers, minutes. This is important in an increasingly dynamic marketplace where customers need to move quickly to respond to business demands.

2. Site criticality supported by access redundancy

IPMAN as an access supports four different options, from a standard single uplink solution to fully redundant solutions, even across different customer sites (dual site diverse). These redundant access options provide assured A/B path diversity (unlike the often populist dual carrier approaches) so that our customers can match "fit for purpose" access to site criticality.

3. Access as an enabler, not an inhibitor to innovation

Working in networks, I do sometimes look enviously at those well-dressed unified communications (UC) and cloud sales people. Younger, more attractive, better shoes... Okay, I digress but the point is, fibre is the best branch enabler for our customers to overlay those sexy UC and cloud based solutions. On the UC front, many customers looking to simply NBN transition multi-line voice solutions have instead installed a single converged fibre based access to carry both data and next generation UC solutions, replacing the legacy voice solution in the process.

4. Overcoming copper pair availability issues

Some fuss has been made in the market regarding mid-range Ethernet or bonded copper solutions, with our own Ethernet Lite solution using this type of approach. The challenge is that to get higher bandwidths, you may need access to eight pairs with an associated onsite visit to configure etc. What happens if the pairs are not available?

5. AAN policy control

Fibre based access enables AAN policy control, with many of our larger customers also keen to standardise branch router/switch deployments on the same ubiquitous access type.

In general, I find that many customers are not simply readying for an NBN transition but rather are reviewing their network access approach as whole to evaluate which will be the most appropriate solution for their needs.

It's an exciting time for Australian enterprises to take a good look at their network and consider how a strong fibre solution could help them take that leap to become ready for a highly productive future.

Read more on networking at Telstra Exchange.