TasmaNet pushes ‘NBN-first’ for governments
Article by Rohan Pearce of CommsDay.
In an interview with leading industry news publication CommsDay, TasmaNet Chief Executive Elizabeth Aris advocates an 'nbn-first' approach by government agencies to maximise return on taxpayer investment in the national broadband access network, and help drive economic recovery nationwide from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The chief executive of Hobart-headquartered TasmaNet has called on government agencies at all levels to take “NBN-first” approach to sourcing network services.
“A lot of these government departments, whether they're federal down to local governments, have been locked into traditional arrangements with the legacy telcos,” Elizabeth Aris told CommsDay. Shifting to NBN Enterprise Ethernet would deliver significant opex savings, Aris argued: “It’s so much cheaper; typically 30-40% less expensive than normal fibre. Secondly, they would be using the network that the government has invested in, so improving the actual return on investment.”
The CEO said that TasmaNet sold its first NBN Enterprise Ethernet product within around two hours of NBN Co releasing it, which Aris described as “classic TasmaNet.”
“We’ve sold many, many more since,” she said. “There's really great demand for it. We estimate it’s an $800 million a month revenue pool. It's available anywhere in the NBN fixed-lined footprint so it's available outside the major cities, which is the only place you could have got dedicated fibre in the past.
“Dedicated fibre was always very expensive, so only the large enterprises could afford it. Now with the NBN Enterprise Ethernet product, if you buy it from a highly competitive retail service provider you can afford to get it from $450 a month depending on the speed and the exact location.”
“If you just look at it in terms of commercial terms, it would make more sense to use the NBN than not,” Aris said. “We are seeing advanced companies and there's a couple of iconic Australian brands – Westpac and Woolworths come to mind — who have taken an NBN-first stance. They're doing it deliberately because they can save a lot of money and they can have a national network that is a consistent technology everywhere.”
She also added that the typical one to three year contract was significantly shorter than typical telco contracts. At the end of the three-year period, if they are not comfortable or satisfied with their service provider, they can change to another one without having to change the network because the NBN continues to be the network behind it all; it’s a wholesale network. That just removes a massive amount of complexity.”
The CEO said that TasmaNet has had a strong first six months in 2020. “There's been a lot of demand, particularly in business, government and school for increased connectivity and increased ability to get people to work from home securely,” she said.
The service provider has had only one customer delay a project. “Everyone else has been actually asking for more connectivity,” Aris said, adding that Tasmanian government demand had “ramped up dramatically” and some of the state’s schools have doubled their bandwidth. The company has also seen strong interest in private cloud and SD-WAN, the CEO said.
Article reproduced by permission. CommsDay is available by subscription only and read by up to 10,000 industry executives as well as policymakers and parliamentarians every week day. Visit the CommsDay website.
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