Lifting Australia’s small and medium business capability
If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s just how valuable digital technologies and cloud-based tools are for businesses, with companies more reliant on applications like remote file storage, content hosting, unified communications, large file distribution, and cloud-based business operations.
At nbn, we recognise that businesses – no matter where they are located – are the economic engine of the nation and we are committed to help them grow and stay competitive.
One of the ways nbn already supports Australian businesses is with business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet – our high-quality business-grade offering that offers options including dedicated bandwidth, symmetrical upload and download speeds (from 10Mbps to almost 1Gbps*), and enhanced 24/7 support to service providers through the business nbn™ Operations Centre, a dedicated team located in Australia.
And today, we are announcing new initiatives designed to further support business innovation, productivity and growth.
Working in collaboration with internet providers, we will invest up to $700 million in a multi-faceted package of initiatives over the next three years.
The first of these initiatives is the creation of up to 240 nbn™ Business Fibre Zones nationally, including in 85 regional locations.
This translates to over an estimated 700,000 businesses in nbn™ Business Fibre Zones that will see Enterprise Ethernet pricing reduced, some by up to 67 per cent, giving regional businesses in these zones access to the same support as businesses in capital city centres, at the same wholesale price.**
What this means is that, any business in an nbn™ Business Fibre Zone will be able to get access to the same premium grade services and wholesale prices as those in the centre of our biggest cities, helping to level the playing field for businesses, no matter which nbn™ Business Fibre Zone they are located in.
For areas not designated as nbn™ Business Fibre Zones, NBN Co has allocated $50 million over three years to work with local councils and state and territory governments to identify opportunities to extend business-grade services.
Enterprise Ethernet needs fibre to be built from a business premises to the nbn™ network. When an internet retailer places an order for Enterprise Ethernet, for an estimated 90 per cent of business premises in the national nbn™ network footprint, we will not charge the retailer for building the fibre.
Plus, if an internet retailer signs up for a three-year Enterprise Ethernet plan, we will not charge the retailer an up-front connection cost***.
Of these 240 nbn™ Business Fibre Zones, today, we are announcing the first 130, including 61 regional locations including the likes of Bunbury, Mount Gambier, Devonport, Shepparton, Port Macquarie and Rockhampton.
Nationally, 14 of the nbn™ Business Fibre Zones will be located specifically to underpin existing health precincts – locations which include major hospitals and related research and education facilities – providing a boost for essential services and health innovation. 11 of these are included in the first release announced today.
Regional communities stand to benefit significantly from increased business potential made possible by digital technologies, including the creation of new businesses, the regional relocation of businesses and access to new opportunities for innovation, productivity and growth.
By working with our industry partners, these new investments will open up the market for all internet providers so better service, competition and business can thrive right across Australia.
The future of Australian businesses
With one million business customers already using services over the nbn™ network, we’re committed to helping Australian businesses make the most of connectivity.
A recent White Paper titled ‘Building Australia’s Digital Future in a Post-COVID World’, released by The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), also emphasised the need to focus on technology infrastructure to support economic recovery and job creation.
It noted the capability for new technologies to make businesses more productive and efficient, to reduce costs, find new markets, and compete more aggressively on the global stage. The Paper proposed further investment in a national digital backbone to support new business growth.
This was bolstered in findings of research conducted in late 2019 by AlphaBeta – and commissioned by nbn – that found that firms with higher technology spending growth experienced higher rates of revenue and employment growth.
Spending on internet services had the most powerful effect on business performance, with companies with the highest internet spending growth, increasing revenue 5.7 percentage points more, and employment 5.4 percentage points more than those in the bottom quartile of technology spending growth.
Internet retailers will now have a greatly expanded reach to help enable those opportunities with nbn wholesale business fibre solutions, providing new levels of choice and digital capability for businesses across the country.
* Regardless of the retail service you purchase, the actual wholesale speeds delivered by the business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet product will be less than 1Gbps and no more than 952Mbps due to equipment and network limitations. An end customer’s experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on some factors outside our control (like their equipment quality, software, and how their retail service provider designs its network). If your service provider has not selected the Class of Service – High, the speeds you experience may be affected by contention on the nbn™ network, particularly in busy periods.
** nbn is a wholesaler and does not control costs charged by service providers. Customers should contact their preferred service provider to ask about their fees and charges.
*** nbn is a wholesaler and does not control costs charged by service providers. Customers should contact their preferred service provider to ask about availability and any fees and charges from their provider that may be applicable. These pricing offers are not available for most premises in the nbn™ Fixed Wireless or Satellite footprints or for most premises which have complex connections – further costs are likely to apply to these premises.