Lo­cal busi­nesses warned to get ready for NBN Com­ing with speed

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor - by Tony Rag­gatt tony. rag­gatt@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

TOWNSVILLE’s ex­per­i­ment in high-speed in­ter­net has been de­layed by floods and cy­clones but Na­tional Broad­band Net­work Com­pany Ltd ex­ec­u­tive Mike Kaiser told a fo­rum in the city yes­ter­day it was com­ing.

He also warned that peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly those in busi­ness, needed to think how it will change the land­scape for them.

The event was a game changer giv­ing small busi­nesses, even in re­mote lo­ca­tions, the abil­ity to com­pete against the ‘‘ big guys’’, Mr Kaiser said. Con­versely, it could also send you broke.

‘‘ Hav­ing a good broad­band net­work makes the size and lo­ca­tion of busi­ness ir­rel­e­vant,’’ Mr Kaiser said.

‘‘ It means small busi­nesses lo­cated in places like Townsville or even in re­mote places can tackle the big guys.

‘‘ How­ever peo­ple do need to think about how it is go­ing to change their busi­ness model, other­wise the dan­ger is or the risk is they may well go the way of Block­buster in the United States who did not think about it early enough.’’

The well-known video store op­er­a­tor went bust late last year around the same time in­ter­net video down­load op­er­a­tor Net­flix be­gan ramp­ing up its busi­ness, snar­ing a big share of the mar­ket.

Per­haps it is for­tu­nate, then, we have more time.

Parts of the sub­urbs of Ait-- ken­vale and Mund­ing­burra in Townsville are one of five first re­lease Aus­tralian sites to trial NBN’s fi­bre tech­nol­ogy.

While the trial was sup­posed to be up and run­ning by the sec­ond quar­ter of this year, Mr Kaiser said con­trac­tor Er­gon En­ergy had been di­verted by flood and cy­clone events.

But the work was pro­gress­ing well and NBN was one or two months away from com­plet­ing con­struc­tion, he said.

‘‘ We’ll be test­ing the ser­vice with a small num­ber of end users,’’ Mr Kaiser said.

‘‘ We have to limit the num­bers and make sure that it works.’’ About 2500 premises are in the Townsville test area and 63 per cent had con­sented to con­nect­ing their premises to the net­work.

Mr Kaiser said the test ar­eas were ex­pected to go on line by Septem­ber this year de­pend­ing on how the test phase pro­ceeded.

‘‘ We are work­ing with re­tail­ers now to work out who is go­ing to come on board to test the net­work,’’ he said.

NBN will pro­vide whole­sale ser­vices at rates start­ing from $ 24 per month for 12 megabit per sec­ond down­load speeds and re­tail­ers will sell to con­sumers.

Mr Kaiser told the con­fer­ence at the North Queens­land Small Busi­ness and Fran­chise Expo a host of com­pa­nies were pre­par­ing to sell de­vices which could take ad­van­tage of the higher speeds.

Tech­nol­ogy sec­tor com­pany Cisco had a set top box which would re­tail for about $ 300 which could turn a TV into a video con­fer­enc­ing fa­cil­ity.

Other com­pa­nies had de­vices to in­ter­act with your doc­tor and gad­gets which would help el­derly peo­ple to live in their homes longer than they other­wise would.

For busi­ness, higher speeds would al­low for ‘‘ cloud ser­vices’’ so that peo­ple could rent soft­ware ser­vices and ac­cess in­for­ma­tion in much the same way that peo­ple use Face­book now.

As for when the en­tire city could en­joy such ser­vices, Mr Kaiser be­lieved its se­lec­tion as a pilot site would lift its place in the queue.

About 93 per cent of premises in Aus­tralia are to be ser­viced by fi­bre and 7 per cent through wire­less and satel­lite tech­nol­ogy by 2020.

‘‘ Hav­ing started in Townsville, it makes sense to keep go­ing . . . and keep us­ing the teams that have been as­sem­bled,’’ Mr Kaiser said.

‘‘ My concern is the busi­ness com­mu­nity won’t move quick enough to take ad­van­tage of the broad­band net­work.’’

GAME CHANGER: Na­tional Broad­band Net­work Com­pany Ltd ex­ec­u­tive Mike Kaiser in Townsville yes­ter­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.