A new wholesale high speed Ethernet option to help facilitate cloud innovation for nbn™ service providers and their customers

Credit: business nbn

Most of the discussion about the nbn™ access network rollout may have been focused on the residential network, but the enhanced focus on business products and services were taken to a new level with the launch of business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet services. The wholesale product and service features within business nbn™ have the potential to disrupt the market with business-focused services that help empower service providers to engage with enterprise customers in completely new ways.

The release of business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet – which uses point-to-point fibre connections to deliver wholesale speeds of up to 1Gbps* of symmetrical bandwidth straight from the customer premises into the nbn™ access network - represents nbn entering the enterprise business market at significant scale and with a major new enterprise-grade fibre option.

Backed by the wide reach of the nbn™ access network, and the engagement of service providers focused on a broad range of customer verticals, business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet is helping to empower service providers to initiate new conversations with their customers about what is possible.

Bandwidth has become an increasingly significant factor for many businesses, many of which are aggressively working to shift their core infrastructure to cloud environments. One recent IDC assessment pegged Australian adoption of managed cloud services at 20 per cent annual growth through 2022, with 56 percent of businesses planning to use managed cloud services to help modernise their legacy applications.

Despite their transformational ambitions, such businesses often find that their existing telecommunications infrastructure becomes saturated due to the volume of new applications and the large quantities of data consumed by growing numbers of fixed and mobile users.

A complement to wholesale business nbnproducts and services

The nbn™ access network has always been designed to support residential and business end users through service providers. Wholesale product features including committed information rates, symmetrical speeds, enhanced Service Level Agreements and high bandwidth speeds have been available for some time and will continue to be fit-for-purpose for a wide variety of businesses on the fixed line footprint. However, nbn recognised that there were enhanced requirements around networked solutions for some businesses, and that nbn needed to expand their wholesale business offerings to help meet their needs.

“Before we had business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet, we were getting feedback from businesses whose demands were beyond the capabilities of what we could previously deliver on the nbn™ access network,” explains Ramesh Paramanathan, General Manager for nbn’s Business Product & Service Portfolio.

Businesses that rely on data intensive applications or activities will often have high symmetrical bandwidth and high network availability requirements, and will be more sensitive to latency issues. These could include data centres, hospitals, call centres, or even in educational facilities. That’s where business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet comes in.

Along with wholesale symmetrical speeds up to 1Gbps*, business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet has dedicated management of the product from end-to-end and support for technical features that service needs like VLAN transparency, unlimited MAC addresses, and multiple classes of service for business applications.

“We built all of these features into business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet to help make sure we could deliver enterprise outcomes,” Paramanathan says. “This is critical, especially when service providers are catering for complex solutions in the enterprise and government space.”

Reliability has been a major focus business nbn™ solutions over the nbn™ access network, and the demand for reliability only increases for enterprise and government organisations with mission critical activities reliant on their data bandwidth, performance, and uptime. business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet can be built on-demand within nbn™’s fixed line footprint with an additional cost , and the geographic reach of the nbn™ fixed line footprint in Australia through service providers means there are additional options for those businesses to look at enhanced network options.

Paired with a product rollout strategy that is being guided by service provider and end business customer demand, business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet is allowing nbn™ to grow its business-grade portfolio in line with customer expectations. “We are leveraging what has already been done with the nbn™ rollout,” says Paramanathan.

As well as providing a robust and cost-effective core architecture, nbn has designed business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet from the ground up to be compliant with the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Framework.

This broadly supported industry standard provides a framework for helping telecommunications infrastructure and network providers integrate their technologies to better support all manner of network/cloud-centric services.

This means service providers can rapidly integrate business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet services into their customer solutions without worrying about costly, complex integration or customisation. Branch offices in the nbn™ fixed line footprint can be connected to services over business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet, whether they are across the city or across the country.

Turn a national footprint into global innovation

business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet has provided a significant development for businesses obtaining services over the nbn™ access network, but its current structure is only the beginning of the innovation that it will help bring to Australia’s business community.

Another characteristic of its network architecture , state-based aggregation, which allows service providers to use a single hand-off for their business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet traffic in each state rather than connect at the local point of interconnect, increases potential market reach for service providers.  It also helps give end customers a broader range of service providers from which they can source their services by lowering the capital investment required to re-sell business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet.

With the framework in place, and service providers empowered to innovate across the nbn™ access network, Paramanathan says the potential value of business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet will grow over time as it helps service providers and business end customers benefit from increasingly sophisticated solutions and services that aim to fulfil the cloud mandate.

“business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet is just the first part of the puzzle,” he explains. “The ultimate success of this product will be about the adoption and innovation that service providers provide on top.”

* Regardless of the retail service you purchase, the actual wholesale speeds delivered by the business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet product will be less than 1000Mbps due to equipment and network limitations. An end user’s experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the technology and configuration over which services are delivered to their premises, whether they are using the service during the busy period, and some factors outside of nbn’s control (like their equipment quality, software, chosen broadband plan or how their provider designs its network). If your service provider has not selected a bandwidth in the highest of three classes of service available for business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet, the speeds you experience may be affected by contention on the nbn™ access network, particularly in busy periods.

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