The nbn™ broadband access network is helping to accelerate digital transformation to support new ways of working
- 10 July, 2019 13:57
The pulse of digital transformation continues to quicken, as early wins from new infrastructure drive additional investments in transformative technologies that are supporting new ways of working.
Australian businesses know that flexible working delivers real financial benefits, and they’re spending up to realise those benefits. Ovum figures suggest that 76 percent of Australian businesses will increase their IT budgets this year over last year, with nearly 30 percent saying they will increase their budget by 6 percent or more.
Much of this is being spent on data-centre consolidation, cloud applications, and improved connectivity between sites that are helping businesses deliver key services to customers better than ever, no matter where they are.
These investments lie at the heart of new ways of working that help employees benefit from connectivity and flexibility. And that connectivity is increasingly becoming possible thanks to the flexibility provided by the range of wholesale products and services available over the nbn™ access network. A network now ready to connect more than 9.6 million premises and activated 5.4 million end user premises.
The broad reach and enhanced services provided over this network are helping to drive a revolution for companies of various types and sizes.
Small businesses, for example, can access plans based on conventional Traffic Class 4 (TC4) services through internet and phone providers, typical of residential plans, if they have relatively low bandwidth requirements or non-critical requirements –they may be able to choose wholesale speeds of up to 1000Mbps/400Mbps, providing fast performance to suit a variety of operational needs.^
Bigger businesses may want to tap into plans based on nbn’s TC1 services when they need wholesale committed data rates for voice and other services requiring low latency and jitter.^ Additionally, they may consider plans based on the TC2 product which can provide high-performance data connectivity at the network level through service providers for applications and services that require consistent, predictable speeds – think videoconferencing or business networking using MPLS.^
Yet pivoting a business into the modern age requires more than just connectivity services. Thanks to a network of service providers (RSPs) selling plans powered by business nbn™ alongside their own products and services, Australian businesses are increasingly benefiting from service and product bundles that deliver a range of out-of-the-box business capabilities.
Business grade wholesale solutions
Connectivity is only one part of the broadband value proposition. As the nbn™ access network rollout has progressed, providers have been competing to deliver new services on top of business nbn™ wholesale connectivity services, which are designed to meet the enhanced requirements of business digital transformation.
Capabilities such as enhanced service level agreements (eSLAs) between nbn and providers, for example, are managed through a Melbourne based business nbn™ Operations Centre and can help to minimise downtime in the event of a fault when businesses choose plans powered by business nbn™. These are often combined with wholesale data options including data prioritisation, committed information rates, and symmetrical speeds up to 1 Gbps* .
Fast broadband is one thing, but it’s the way that it is applied to business problems that really matters. Businesses need communications solutions that can provide the flexibility and choice they need – with capabilities to suit their industries and individual circumstances. Wholesale business nbn™ services support these solutions with business-grade wholesale solutions designed to meet the needs of businesses big and small.
An nbn commissioned report from Ovum, The nbn™ broadband access network for business – a foundation of digital transformation, examined the many use cases that are driving businesses to adopt services powered by business nbn™ connectivity solutions.
Ovum’s analysis found, for example, that the nbn™ access network will be a key driver for change in the retail industry. Fully 54 percent of retail businesses were engaged in some sort of innovation activities in 2016-17, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports – making it Australia’s second-most enthusiastic adopter of innovative, transformational solutions.
Such solutions may be supported by plans powered by business nbn™, such as plans based on high symmetrical wholesale speeds that help enable distributed retail sites to send large volumes of transactional and customer data back to central data warehouses for analysis.^ This analysis, in turn, helps improve visibility of operational processes – helping create the smarter shopping experiences that customers have come to expect.
The need to handle larger volumes of transaction data, Ovum believes, will grow retail spending on communications at around 3.7 percent annually in coming years. Major retailers including Coles and Woolworths have already enlisted providers to transition thousands of retail outlets to nbn™ fibre-to-the-premises connections.
Other industry sectors will also benefit from nbn’s wholesale business grade solutions, Ovum concluded.
Health and aged care providers, for example, may use plans based on TC2 wholesale products, with wholesale committed and prioritised data that can separate corporate data from internet data, to help support crucial telemedicine and monitoring services.
The logistics and transport industry will be looking for fast and reliable access to services, such as wholesale committed information rates available on business nbn™ services, to support smaller distribution facilities – which can now be placed closer to their customers to improve responsiveness and delivery times.
The nbn™ access network is also anticipated to support local government’s smart-city initiatives by providing ubiquitous and flexible connectivity to a broad range of devices. Smart lighting, smart parking, and smart traffic management are among the many applications that, Ovum notes, “have been rolled out and are now generating masses of data”.
Total communications spending by Australian government bodies will increase at an average annual rate of 7.5 percent in the near future, Ovum has predicted – highlighting the extent of the investment in communications as an enabler for these transformative projects.
business nbn™ as an ICT enabler
Fast broadband has long been seen as a critical enabler for digital transformation, with a recent OECD analysis noting that transformation “can only be fully realised if high quality access to communication networks and services is made available at affordable prices for all people and firms no matter who they are or where they live”.
The nbn™ access network rollout is providing a high quality network across Australia. And, as more regions and locations are able to access the infrastructure, businesses in those areas can start to realise the benefits. For those on the nbn™ fixed line footprint, business nbn™ wholesale products and services can be accessed.
To understand how those solutions can improve your business, Ovum recommends you undertake a business connectivity review now, considering the options available to you over the nbn™ access network. This five-step review identifies a company’s needs and helps identify any requirements that businesses may have, and that can be realised thanks to access to communications. The review includes:
- Evaluating whether the current network infrastructure fits your business requirements
- Assessing the need for service levels and redundant connectivity to ensure service continuity
- Identifying opportunities for infrastructure consolidation
- Developing an action plan to handle disconnection of affected legacy copper,# wide-area network (WAN) services, and special services like security alarms
- Working with specialised service providers to understand the value-added services they can provide to better support the transformation.
By following a measured strategic plan and running a business connectivity review, businesses across Australia can identify the digital improvements available with the help of the nbn™ access network and plans powered by business nbn™.
These improvements, in turn, will help drive the acceleration of digital transformation and the migration of Australian businesses into a future where connectivity is a given and digitally enabled collaboration is reliable and ubiquitous. With the right strategy and the right services, the future of transformation – and the benefits of new ways of working – are truly within reach.
^ nbn provides wholesale services to phone and internet providers. nbn™ wholesale speed tiers available to providers vary depending on the access technology in an end user’s area. An end 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, and some factors outside of nbn’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 the number of concurrent users on the nbn™ Fixed Wireless network, including during busy periods. Sky Muster™ satellite end users may also experience latency.
# Services provided over the nbn™ broadband access network will be replacing phone and internet services provided over most of the existing landline networks, including copper and the majority of HFC networks within the fixed line footprint. Services provided over existing fibre networks (including in-building, health and education networks) and some special and business services may not be affected. To find out if your services will be affected, please contact your current phone or internet provider. For more information, visit nbn.com.au/switchoff or call 1800 687 626.
*1 Gbps symmetrical speeds are available on business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet only. Regardless of the retail service you purchase, the actual wholesale speeds delivered by the nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet product will be less than 1000 Mbps due to equipment and network limitations. Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the service during the busy period, and some factors outside our control (like your equipment quality, software, chosen broadband plan or and how your service provider designs its network). If your service provider has not selected a bandwidth in the highest of three classes of service available for nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet, the speeds you experience may be affected by contention on the nbn™ network, particularly in busy periods.
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