With the rollout of the nbn broadband access network now more than halfway complete, our ability to support the needs of Australian businesses is vital to our success.
We’re now connecting around 20,000 new business premises to Australia's new broadband network every month and NBN Co has been scaling to meet the needs of this segment.
Since my recent appointment as Chief Customer Officer – Business at NBN Co, we’ve been building a team dedicated to businesses and to ensuring a smooth transition from their existing network to services delivered over the nbn access network.
The newly-formed team is working hard alongside phone and internet providers to deliver an improved end-user experience as well as develop additional wholesale product and service offerings purpose-built to help support Australian businesses.
We know that businesses require a different level of service than residential end users. During the early stage of the rollout we’ve predominantly focused our efforts on developing wholesale products and services for suitable residential, micro, small and medium business end users.
But with the rollout of the nbn access network increasingly reaching Australia’s Central Business Districts, we’ve seen a great demand for fast broadband from larger end users with different levels of requirements.
Medium, enterprise and government organisations often need a bigger resource commitment to make the transition to the nbn access network.
We recognise they often require additional support which is why we’re working on scaling up dedicated teams and technicians to deliver the types of support these businesses expect with minimal disruption to their organisation.
As Australia continues to move to a service-based economy, this will allow us to facilitate innovation across the country and help support large and enterprise businesses so they can take advantage of high-bandwidth applications.
Today, I am pleased to announce a number of initiatives we’ve been working on which have been designed to improve the connection, migration and service experience for businesses.
Improve the Connection and Resolution Process – businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and that changes the scale and complexities of installation as well as service requirements. Our new team will work to improve the connection process to ensure rescheduled appointments are prioritised, complex orders are case managed between NBN Co and service provider as well as improved business address data matching.
For larger businesses, we’re working to develop enterprise engagement teams and technicians who will be able to work closely with service providers to help to facilitate a smooth migration and premium appointment windows – this will particularly benefit businesses with complex services such as Ethernet Lite and ISDN.
Discount Pricing Model – we recently introduced a new capped wholesale pricing model offered over our wholesale business product (Traffic Class 2) which aims to reduce wholesale monthly charges for retail service providers so they can provide more competitive prices for their business customers.
Eligible higher-grade wholesale speed tiers are expected to deliver the largest reduction for service providers under this new model.
Industry Engagement – the team is preparing to launch a new partner program aimed at the Information and Communications Technology industry. It will offer training and accreditation for solution providers and IT consultants, who will then be empowered to educate businesses connecting to the new network.
It will be a great first stepping stone to connecting to the nbn access network and making the most of its impact.
Business education campaign – our marketing team has today launched a new integrated communications program to educate Australian businesses on how to connect and the impact of the nbn access network on important business services.
Migrating businesses to the nbn access network requires an industry-wide effort and we are continually working with our retail service providers, delivery partners and stakeholders to ensure we can make this happen.
In response to our new initiatives, the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA) Chief Executive Officer Peter Strong said, “In recent months, COSBOA has raised a number of concerns from our members with NBN Co regarding difficulties encountered by small business in securing reliable and affordable, high speed broadband services.
“We congratulate NBN Co on these customer service and product enhancements and believe that they will go a long way to addressing the problems being experienced by small businesses in Australia.
“COSBOA will continue to work cooperatively with NBN Co to enable small businesses in Australia to leverage the full benefits of the national investment in the nbn access network.”
I’m excited by the demand for fast broadband from Australian businesses and delighted to be able to upscale our team and their available resources to help facilitate a better end-user experience. And there is more to come.
The rollout of the nbn access network is one of the most complex and ambitious initiatives to be undertaken in any telecommunications market across the world – we understand there is no silver bullet in improving the experience of people who connect to the network but we’re confident these new initiatives will boost the experience of businesses who sign-up via a retail service provider.
We will continue to work with the industry and to keep up with market trends in order to provide access to fast broadband services that meet the needs of Australian businesses now and in the future.