NBN Co announces major initiatives to boost commitment to regional and remote Australia
New regional Australia business unit, and enhanced community engagement and business services
NBN Co today officially launched a new business unit solely focused on meeting customer needs and raising the digital capability of regional and remote communities across Australia.
The new business unit will bring together all aspects of the fixed wireless and satellite teams from engineering through to operations to ensure regional customers remain front and centre as the nbn™ network build nears completion. The new division will include an expanded community and stakeholder engagement capability to ensure that customer expectations are understood, including across different community segments and business sectors.
Also announced today was the launch of the business nbn™ Satellite Service, a new business-grade wholesale satellite service that will help meet the increasing needs of medium or large businesses, enterprise and government users in regional and remote areas, or businesses that have employees in hard to reach areas. The new service will provide access to fast broadband and business-grade support for businesses across Australia, helping them access national and international markets and generate new economic opportunities in regional and remote areas.
Newly appointed Chief Development Officer, Regional & Remote, Gavin Williams, was previously Executive General Manager for Products at NBN Co. Mr Williams joined NBN Co in June 2014 and has held responsibility for products, new product development and product lifecycle management. His wealth of experience, also drawing on 25 years industry experience previous to NBN Co, positions Mr Williams strongly to elevate the focus on regional and remote customers, and ensure their needs continue to remain at the fore.
Today’s announcement also addresses a key recommendation in the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review: Getting it right out there report to assign responsibility for improving nbn’s regional and remote assets to an experienced member of the company’s senior executive management team.
Further, the announcement builds on a number of recent nbn initiatives that support regional and remote Australia, including:
Fixed Wireless upgrades
• Delivering an additional $800 million investment helping to manage capacity and performance on the fixed wireless network over the next four years.
Sky Muster Plus – delivering unmetered access for select applications
• Providing access to fast and accessible broadband services with the additional benefit of unmetered data for activities like web browsing (static images and text only), select emailing and PC and Smartphone operating system software updates, subject to certain exclusions. #
Expansion of nbn Local
• Expanding the on the-ground community and stakeholder engagement team who work to help lift digital capability, improve customer experience, ensure larger local problems and concerns are identified early and addressed; and raise awareness about the social and economic benefits that fast broadband can deliver.
Transit capacity upgrade
• Switching on a major upgrade to double bandwidth capacity on its 60,000km fibre optic backbone. The upgrade means NBN Co can increase maximum capacity on its transit network from 9.6 Terabits per second (Tbps) to 19.2Tbps per fibre link, which will help meet the broadband needs of homes and businesses into the future. Upgrades will span high-traffic fibre links such as the 3,600km route between Brisbane, Queensland and Darwin in the Northern Territory.
NBN Co’s CEO Stephen Rue said:
“We’re redoubling our commitment to regional Australia with a focused business unit responsible for engaging with regional customers and meeting their needs. The regional rollout of the nbn is almost complete with more than 98% of premises in regional Australia now able to access the network or with construction underway.”
“Since Armidale became the first site to go live back in 2011 the nbn™ access network has delivered significant benefits across Australia and we know that the connectivity benefits for vital Australian industries critical to regional Australia, such as agriculture and tourism, are many.”
“Today’s announcement forms part of our evolution as a business, sharpening our focus on becoming a full-scale, service delivery organisation, centred on customer experience.”
NBN Co Chief Development Officer, Regional & Remote, Gavin Williams said:
“NBN Co has already delivered significant benefits for regional Australia, but we are absolutely committed to providing even greater access to broadband services throughout regional and remote Australia, helping to connect more homes and businesses in Australia’s regional towns and hard to reach places.”
“Data consumption on the nbn™ broadband access network has increased by almost 25 per cent in the past 12 months and almost half of all data (48%) is consumed outside of metropolitans areas. Ensuring we continue to meet customer needs and raise the digital capability of regional and remote areas is an absolute priority.”
“The business nbn™ Satellite Service is just one example of how we provide access to fast broadband and separate service levels to Australian businesses to help them to compete in a global market.
“The business nbn™ Satellite Service is particularly well suited to businesses with larger network capacity requirements that operate in remote locations such as the oil, mining and gas industries. Businesses will benefit from the service’s ability to offer business-grade services in eligible locations across the country.”
Visit nbn.com.au/regional for more information.
Notes to editors:
• The business nbn™ Satellite Service can support non addressable locations that don’t require an address as an eligibility criteria as the fixed wireless or Sky Muster™ satellite service does.
• Initial business nbn™ Satellite Service products focus on remote business requirements for high-data capacity and IoT, with an additional product planned to launch next year. The Access Bandwidth Service will seek to provide committed wholesale speeds that are essential for critical applications required by large enterprise and government customers.
• All business nbn™ Satellite Service offerings provide a number of configurable options, including three service assurance levels managed through business nbn’s Satellite Operations Centre.
• The business-grade products launched include the Virtual ISP (VISP) solution designed for businesses with high-data consumption needs and an Internet of Things (IoT) solution which enables connectivity of infrastructure or devices in remote ‘non-addressable’ locations.
• NBN Co provides wholesale services to phone and internet providers. nbn™ wholesale speed tiers available to providers vary depending on the access technology in a user’s area or business nbn™ Satellite Service product selected. A user’s experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to their premises, whether they are using the internet during the busy period (7pm to 11pm), and some factors outside of NBN Co’s control (like their equipment quality, software, chosen broadband plan, signal reception, or how their provider designs its network). Speeds may also be impacted by network congestion on the Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods. Sky Muster™ satellite users may also experience latency.
• # Exclusions and fair use conditions apply. If you’re accessing your connection via a Virtual Private Network (VPN), or applications that do not use HTTP/HTTPS protocols, all activities will be metered, even those specified above as ‘unmetered activities’. For more information on which internet activities are unmetered and exclusions visit nbnco.com.au/skymuster-plus or speak to your internet service provider. For details on fair use conditions, contact your internet service provider.
• The Connecting Australia report was commissioned by NBN Co through independent research agency AlphaBeta. It combines national census data with an Ipsos survey of 3500 individuals across 1700 postcodes in metropolitan, regional and remote areas, including those connected to the nbn™ access network and those not connected.
• The nbn data insights were drawn from active services on the nbn™ access network across Australia. The information is a year on year comparison during the June 2019 period.