Posted by TasmaNet , on January 29th, 2020
Estimated reading time: 3 min

National challenger telco TasmaNet has issued a rousing defence of NBN Co’s entry into enterprise, saying it has successfully “inverted” the market by providing exactly what end users want. 

CEO of the Hobart-based telco, Elizabeth Aris, told CommsDay yesterday: “Our view is that the Enterprise Ethernet product launched a year ago has inverted the market completely.” “For the first time, any business, school or government office in the NBN fixed line footprint can get fibre at a decent price. Before fibre was confined to a limited footprint and often was too expensive,” she said. 

Aris said that with NBN entering the market, businesses and other organisations could now get full fibre service for less than $500 per month: “30% less than before, which is incredible.” Aris said arguments against NBN overbuild essentially came from self-interest. 

“The big 4 telcos put a big mark-up on their fibre and they don’t like this because it affects the price they can charge,” she claimed. “NBN has come in with prices that create 30% to 40% savings. And it’s what the corporates want as they move to an NBN First buying policy. Otherwise they end up with a hybrid network of proprietary fibre tails with all the expense and complexity that entails.” 

She added: “In fact I would like to see the Federal Government itself adopt an NBN First policy for buying services across its national offices.”


Aris said that the NBN had enabled TasmaNet to transcend its state-based legacy business and become a genuine national player. She said that the firm uses Superloop across the national NBN for its backhaul and signed its first Enterprise Ethernet customer literally two hours after the product launch. 

She also praised the responsiveness of NBN staff to specific service or customer issues, saying they were always willing to pick up the phone, listen and change their processes when needed. TasmaNet also was seeing improvement in the enterprise offerings, particularly in terms of connection times which were coming down. 

As to the argument that telcos who don’t invest in infrastructure shouldn’t expect special treatment, Aris points out that TasmaNet operates its own wireless broadband infrastructure in Tasmania, coming up with some unique solutions to unique problems. One example is the provision of wireless hops to Huon [Aquaculture] so it can remotely operate a robotic arm on a fishing ship some 15km out to sea. 

Aris also points to her history on the other side of the fence, as an executive vice president for Telstra between 2006 and 2009, and then later as an executive with former Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo’s consultancy, working on various telecom, technology and media M&A projects, and providing corporate advice to Sprint on end to end turn around. 

“I’ve been on the other side playing defence and now I am here playing offence,” she quipped. Aris’ support for NBN Co comes as a counterpoint to Telstra, Optus and Vocus who have queried the national network operator’s overbuild of their own enterprise fibre assets.

This interview with TasmaNet CEO Elizabeth Aris appeared in the Wednesday 29 January 2020 edition of the Communications Day subscription newsletter. Article by CommsDay's Grahame Lynch.


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