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NBN cuts prices for business plans as $1bn target nears

Big name brands such as Optus and Woolworths have signed deals with telcos to be on the NBN network in the past 12 months but there has been less cut-through with small and micro companies.

NBN Co research found two thirds of businesses with one to four employees are based in a residential property, with 75 per cent of them using a residential plan rather than a business plan. These typically cost less.

“For many the basic residential option is fine but for others it’s not … part of our mission is to make sure they use the offering that is most appropriate to them,” Mr Tyler said.

“A lot of people think of NBN has having one proposition when we have a whole raft of offerings,” he said. “Different end users have different needs particularly in the business case.”

While the NBN Co has maintained their customers are the telcos and not the Australian public and businesses, Mr Tyler said speaking directly to those who use the services would encourage take-up of business plans.

“NBN has always had an obligation to educate end-users,” he said, but admitted “market awareness of the range of offerings in the business space is low”.

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The discounted bundles have been created for different sized businesses and data requirements, with more customer support included and a new NBN operations centre with 100 people to provide technical support.

Some of the bundles come with the option to build a second line to be able to test the connection before switching over to make sure there are no issues.

Telecommunications complaints from small businesses jumped to a five-year high in the last financial year, coinciding with a campaign from the ombudsman to increase awareness from smaller enterprises about its ability to handle their concerns.

New complaint handling rules introduced by the communications regulator in February after a surge in problems requires the NBN and telcos to work together to handle problems, keep records and stick to mandated timelines.

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